It’s been over a decade since emissions killed the last of the Mazda Wankel warriors (that would be the RX-8), with no clear intentions of a successor in sight. Nevertheless, recent patent applications submitted by the Japanese automaker bring new hope for a proper rotary revival—ah, how glorious it would be if Mazda went ahead with a production version of 2015’s RX Vision concept! And while we discuss the said patent application, we’ve brought along an independent 3D concept showcasing such a machine.
Filed in Japan and having surfaced earlier this week, the patents reveal that the application date is almost two years old. The design is similar to what we can find in Mazda’s European-filed patents, mentioning a 48V hybrid powertrain with three rotors.
As you can imagine, this has stirred up the enthusiast community, with the most optimistic among us expecting the carmaker to introduce a final rotary effort until internal combustion engines are retired in favor of all-electric propulsion.
The three-rotor approach mentioned in the documents is surprising. Sure, such an engine debuted in the Eunos Cosmo, while also animating the initial Le Mans efforts, but Mazda seems to have enjoyed the most success with a four-rotor, with this including the 787B that took the victory at Le Mans.
So far, Mazda has kept its promise of bringing back the treasured Wankel, but, due to the emissions and reliability limitations of the architecture, this is now a range extender for the MX-30 electric crossover rather than providing power itself.
The RXX rendering is a sight for sore eyes
Returning to the community built around these high-revving, devilishly-sounding motors, digital artist Al Yasid has dreamt up a spiritual successor to the RX-8, which is dubbed RXX Concept.
The London-based pixel master first released the proposal in July last year with a bit of assistance from fellow artist PJN (a.k.a. radical pjn)—this is the red/white car in the gallery below—and he recently dropped a fresh take on the matter.
Seen here next to the FD-generation RX-7, which remains the pinnacle of Mazda Wankel machines in the eyes of many fans, the RXX Concept skips the four-door layout of the newer model, borrowing its two-seater configuration from the RX-7.
However, this time around, there are no hints of pop-up headlights, which brings the vehicle a tad closer to the RX-8. And another novelty comes from the memorable shade of blue covering the machine.
Given that we seem to be dealing with a Grand Tourer rather than a sportscar (such an approach might boost sales), this fresh color seems like the perfect choice compared to the more aggressive red of last summer, even though such matters are subjective.
The front end brings a futuristic approach and so does the posterior, even though the latter seems to perfectly resemble an official design.
And if we factor in the classic proportions of the car, it all adds to the desire of seeing Mazda adding a rotary-powered model to its future plans, which involve impressive developments such as an all-new Skyactiv Multi-Solution Scalable Architecture that will underpin a plethora of new models released by 2025, including five hybrids, just as many plug-in hybrids and three EVs, while additional battery-powered cars will arrive by 2030.