TOKYO - The RX-Evolv concept sports sedan will come to America as a production vehicle and will have a pure sports car offshoot as well, Mazda Motor Corp.'s top product executive said.
The platform used for the RX-Evolv is that of the next-generation Miata with a stretched wheelbase. By getting more volume from a platform, Mazda will be better able to amortize the cost of creating a low-volume RX-7 sports car from the same framework, said Martin Leach, Mazda's managing director for product planning, design and programs.
Mazda calls the RX-Evolv 'the next big thing in sports cars.' But Leach added that the positioning will be different from what Mazda would want from 'a purist's sports car.'
'Having a four-door sports car gives the vehicle broader appeal,' he said. 'That gives us the solid financial footing to do more with the platform.'
Mazda was able to get 280 hp from its twin-rotor Rotary engine without turbochargers by using better breathing mechanisms - a tumble port in the second stage, Leach said.
But if the owner doesn't want the driver - a teen-age son, for example - to be able to use all the engine's power, an identification card inserted into the instrument panel can reduce the vehicle's performance.
Leach did not give an introduction date for the car, but said it will take at least two years to bring it to production. Mazda dropped the RX-7 from its U.S. lineup after the 1996 model year.