The 2019 Tokyo Motor Show will be an event to remember for Mazda fans this year. With rumors flying around about new sports cars and patents leaving breadcrumbs, the Japanese automaker is getting ready to unveil two new vehicles at the popular car show: the athletic RX-9 and the company’s first-ever fully electric model.
Mazda spokesperson, Yoshikazu Nagai, recently confirmed that the company’s first standalone EV will be unveiled on October 23rd at the Tokyo Motor Show. However, confirmation of body style has not yet been given. Mazda has put rumors of an EV sports car to rest by releasing powertrain details, and, keeping the current market in mind, this model will most likely be a compact crossover or hatchback.
New EV Performance Specs
The highly anticipated electric vehicle will be powered by a petite 35.5 kWh battery that generates 143 HP and 195 lb-ft of torque. Auto experts speculate that this will simply not be enough power for a sporty ride. Some even think that the range will not be long enough for the American market. However, this model could possibly come with a Wankel rotary “range extender.” This is a small, gasoline-powered generator that would also serve another purpose by rotating the wheels. Not yet confirmed, it is only a speculation.
Mazda is keeping the details of their upcoming EV close to the chest. However, the company did show off a test vehicle based on the CX-30 at the Global Tech Forum in Oslo, Norway earlier this year. This concept was powered by an e-TPV, an electric powertrain coupled with a range-extender gasoline engine. It pumped out 140 HP and featured the aforementioned 35.5-kWh battery pack.
A Mysterious New Patent
A recent patent filing in Japan may have shed some light on the new rear-wheel-drive performance coupe that Mazda has been testing for several years now. Uncovered by Motor Magazine, the patent is for a “vehicle shock-absorbing structure.” The image displayed the platform attached to a space frame chassis that is made to hold an engine directly behind the front axle.
After carefully studying the depiction, a front subframe cross-member can be seen running parallel to the front axle. This is clear evidence that the patent is for a RWD platform. The picture also depicts a double-wishbone front suspension and calls for the structure to be constructed out of aluminum and carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic in order to be lightweight.
The New RX-9 Sports Car
While a patent doesn’t necessarily mean that Mazda will be implementing this new creation in any of its current models, there is a strong possibility that the company is planning on unveiling another new vehicle at the Tokyo Motor with this RWD platform. Mazda has recently been developing a new Inline-6 engine based on its sparkless ignition technology. Combining this innovative motor with the new RWD platform could lead to the creation of an all-new sports car known as the RX-9. After the last-generation RX-8 fell flat with consumers, Mazda enthusiasts were left disappointed. However, a new hope has arisen yet again for the Japanese automaker.
The RX-9 will be part of the Skyactiv-X fleet and will feature the innovative 3.0-liter inline 6-cylinder engine. Coupled with a hybrid system to improve torque and fuel efficiency, this model will generate 350 horsepower and will be the company’s first-ever hybrid vehicle. With this much brute strength, the RX-9 will be comparable to the Ford Mustang and Chevy Camaro.
Rumored to arrive at dealerships in 2022, the estimated price of this mysterious model is said to be around $45,000. When asked to confirm the reports of the RX-9 coming to the Tokyo Motor Show, Mazda simply confirmed that the Inline-6 engine will be used in future production models, but they did not specify which models those will be.
More Mazda Secrets
Giving more life to the rumors of the RX-9, the older RX-8 was recently spotted zooming around Germany’s Nurburgring track sporting camouflage. Mazda quickly attempted to cover its tracks by stating that the run was to test driver’s Nurburgring licenses and nothing more.
Furthermore, Mazda global president Akira Marumoto said in an interview at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show that the company cannot commit to bringing back the RX lineup. However, the company went ahead and unveiled the RX Vision concept car that featured a front-mounted SKYACTIV-R rotary engine and RWD. This sleek, futuristic model wowed auto enthusiasts and set the stage for the well-founded rumors of the elusive RX-9.
Mazda’s SkyActiv Technology
Used in a range of vehicles, SkyActiv is a suite of new technologies that are similar to a hybrid drivetrain. Increasing overall power and reducing emissions by 15%, SkyActiv improves fuel economy.
It is currently used in the 2019 Mazda CX-5. This diesel-powered model includes i-Activ AWD and Signature SkyActiv -D for optimal performance. The 2.2L twin-turbo diesel engine generates 168 HP and 290 lb-ft of torque, giving this crossover effortless acceleration and a fuel economy set at 30 mpg combined. This model also comes with a slew of advanced safety features like blindspot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, smart city brake support with pedestrian detection, lane-departure warning and assist, and cruise control with stop-and-go technology.
Another upcoming SkyActiv model is the Mazda6. Also powered by a turbo-diesel engine, this sleek sedan is said to deliver a smooth, comfortable driving experience. With an interior decked out in upscale materials like Nappa leather and Ultrasuede trim, the Mazda6 will not disappoint buyers. The SkyActiv body style has high-rigidity and is lightweight with an outstanding collision performance rating. Its multi-load path structure absorbs the brunt of the impact and disperses it in multiple directions to protect passengers. If the rumored RX-9 will truly be joining Mazda’s SkyActiv family, fans are expecting it to be just as thrilling as the CX-5 and the Mazda6.
The 2019 Tokyo Motor Show and Mazda’s New Releases
The 46th Tokyo Motor Show will begin on Thursday, October 24th and continue through Monday, November 4th. Hosted by the Tokyo Big Sight venue in Koto-Ku, this event is sure to be full of surprises. It will also be open to the public for longer than ever before. Attendees can take a peek at new passenger vehicles, light and heavy commercial vehicles, parts, tools, machinery, and even motorcycles.
Of course, this highly anticipated car show is the place to be if you want to see what’s new in the automotive world. With the auto industry becoming increasingly competitive, it’s a great place to shine. For a smaller auto company like Mazda, it’s the perfect place to steal the spotlight with not one but two new releases.
If the Mazda rumors are true, the company will certainly make headlines. The first-ever fully electric Mazda vehicle and the re-imagining of the RX line will surely delight patrons and give the company a new wave of energy.