CX-5 could help make RX Vision (right) a reality
New CX-5 may bankroll coupé Strong demand for Mazda’s SUV will make a rotary-engined coupé more likely
he success of the all-new CX-5 SUV is crucial if Mazda is to put into production a rotarypowered sports car inspired by the RX Vision concept of 2015. Mazda R&D boss Kiyoshi Fujiwara said there was no official update on the RX project a year on from the car’s debut at the 2015 Tokyo show, because the project is struggling for both a
business case and the kind of technological breakthrough that would make rotary power viable for production again. However, he revealed the business case aspect could be solved by the second-generation CX-5, unveiled at the LA motor show, being a success. Fujiwara said the Mazda business was “back at its original starting point” after the company’s successful
relaunch, underpinned by its innovative Skyactiv technology announced in 2011. The business has gone well since, wiping out past negatives. “Starting with the CX-5, we will try to build robust business health from here,” Fujiwara said in LA. “Then after, if we are successful, we can build a robust business structure for the next generation [of products] and then the RX
Vision will be a possibility. So the next CX-5 is important.” The year 2020 remains a tantalising target for Mazda to launch a new rotary-powered sports car, because it coincides with the firm’s centenary. By then, every Mazda model underpinned by the first generation of Skyactiv tech will have been replaced. All Mazdas will switch to the second generation of Skyactiv.
PORSCHE MAKES THE 911 MID-ENGINED — FOR RACING The decision to shift the 4.0-litre six-cylinder motor of the new Porsche 911 RSR racing car to a mid-engined configuration does not spell the beginning of the end for iconic rear-engined 911s, according to Porsche’s motorsport boss, Frank Walliser. The latest iteration of the 911 racer has been entirely rebuilt to fully exploit the Le Mans GTE regulations, with only the door handles carried over. Resiting the engine has enabled the addition of a rear diffuser. GTE homologation rules dictate that the car must be closely based on a road version, but Walliser said moving the engine’s position was within the existing regulations, so Porsche would not have to produce a run of mid-engined 911 road cars to comply.
New 911 RSR will compete in WEC and at Le Mans
FORD ECOSPORT GETS A MAKEOVER
HONDA REVEALS FUTURE DASH TECH
The facelifted Ford Ecosport, due in the UK next year, has been previewed to the US market with minor exterior tweaks and the latest Ford infotainment system, Sync3. Current engines will remain, including the 1.0-litre Ecoboost petrol unit.
Honda has revealed a high-tech dashboard concept called the Acura Precision Cockpit. It is believed to give clues to how an updated NSX interior will look and will subsequently feature on all Honda production cars in the future.
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Fujiwara says this will improve the efficiency of its models by 50%. Key to that will be the use of ultra-efficient homogenous compression technology in its engines, which will be seen in production by 2018-2019. While Mazda continues to develop core technologies, Fujiwara confirmed there was a small team devoted to developing rotary technology. MARK TISSHAW