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1970 Mazda RX-500 Shooting Brake Concept

The RX-500 was first shown to the public at the 1970 Tokyo Motor Show, celebrating 50 years of the company. It was intended to be an experiment in high speed and lightweight and powered by a 982cc twin-rotor Wankel engine – albeit one with 247bhp that could spin up to 15,000rpm.

The RX-500 used lightweight plastic body panels and a steel tube space frame around the engine, cutting down on bulk wherever it could. The car weighed just 850kg in total, and the top speed was said to be around 150mph. Various bodies were tried out in the wind tunnel, including a coupe version, but engineers ultimately followed the breadvan/Kamm tail design.

The 2dr coupe featured butterfly doors that swung forward (and predated the Lamborghini Countach) and a wedgy design that was all the rage back in the days and indeed still looks good now. The engine was fitted behind the driver but in front of the rear axle, a layout the company hasn’t flirted with since in its production cars but did, of course, use for its Eighties Group C racers. The four-speed manual box came from the 1969 Luce R130 Coupe.

View the World's Largest Shooting Brake Archive Here (Sources Included)

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