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1999 Mazda RX-Evolv

Mazda's legendary and long-lamented rotary engine just might be headed for a comeback, at least if the prototype RX-Evolv is any indication. It was one of four concept cars the Japanese automaker rolled out for the biannual auto show. The unusual four-door design is aimed at "people who like to go out with friends," says Mazda President Jim Miller. Under the hood is the next-generation "Renesis" rotary engine, which, while still under development, is intended to deliver up to 280 horsepower with a 10,000-rpm redline. "It's the rotary engine that enforces Mazda's identity and individuality," adds Miller. The Renesis is naturally aspirated, a move designed to hold down production costs. The fact that the RX-Evolv is just being shown in prototype form disappoints some fans who had expected Mazda to roll out a production version at this year's show. But Mazda Managing Director Martin Leach notes, "If we get a good reaction, we will do it." Eventually, there could be two versions, a higher-end model, much like the RX-Evolv, and a more basic, two-door sports car.

Source:; Mazda Motor Corp.

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