There is news out of Japan regarding the RX-9. Whether fact or speculation, a few sources have now said that Mazda is working with Toyota hybrid technology. Whether the RX-9 will be the worlds first Rotary Hybrid sports car or not is remain to be scene, but it does appear that Mazda will enter into the Hybrid market very soon.
It’s an interesting notion that Mazda may deploy a battery cell system paired with the wankel rotary engine, for a few reasons. One being that the rotary engine has long suffered from poor fuel economy, despite it’s small displacement (typically 1.3 liters). Another interesting benefit is that electric motors provide low end power, which would benefit the infamously low torque found in the RX-8’s Renesis engine. There is, however, a major downside to deploying a hybrid battery system in the RX-9, and that is weight. A rotary sports car’s worst enemy is weight, and unevenly distributed weight would be a showstopper. If Mazda is able to properly balance the added weight from the battery systems, it is possible with other weight saving techniques, they could keep the sports car to a weight of around 3400 lbs (500 of which would be battery cells), which would not be the end of the world but would require the new engine to output over 300hp to be considered a proper sports car in this day and age.
Picture below is another concept that seems to be inline with some of Mazda’s latest prototypes, which typically foreshadow their sports car lineup pretty well: