Mazda RX-9

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Mazda has been working on a successor to the RX-7 and RX-8 sports car for what feels like forever, and despite denying it exists or will exist, patents continue to emerge that seem to prove the opposite.

The latest image to show itself is quite a juicy one, as far as these things go. It shows a rear-quarter view of a two-door body, which looks fairly similar to the RX-Vision concept from 2015.

It was uploaded to IPForce.jp last week, along with 14 other less interesting images. According to a report of the images.

The present invention is intended to provide a rear body structure of a vehicle that can ensure the support rigidity of the rear suspension and effectively transmit the rear thrust load from the rear side housing (rigid member) to the coupling body between the side sill and the pillar.

Of course, it pays to mention that a patent filing doesn’t mean the car is actually being worked on for production. Many manufacturers will patent and trademark designs to keep competitors from using them.

But, to add more fuel to the RX fire, Mazda also recently trademarked a new ‘R’ logo, which looks similar to the Spirit R badge that adorned some of its sports cars, including the RX-7 and RX-8.

It has also patented an interesting powertrain design that uses a front-mounted rotary engine (full-sized, not a range extender) and one electric motor to drive the rear wheels as well as one electric motor housed inside each front wheel.

The electric system comprises a small 3.5kWh battery operating at 48 volts along with a unique capacitor system housed underneath the bonnet.

It works by charging the capacitors through regenerative braking and when the voltage between the terminals of the capacitor reaches a certain level the charge goes to the battery.

If the capacitors don’t have enough juice when the driver buries the throttle, the battery steps in to assist. It seems the capacitors only power the front wheels though.

The patent added the in-wheel motors only generate an output “when a large output is required in the high vehicle speed range.”

Mazda describes the system as lighter than a conventional battery set-up, partially due to the smaller battery but also because the high-voltage wiring only needs to run from the motor in the front wheels to the capacitor under the bonnet.

Interestingly, the patent also says the system can work with rotary, inline and V-shaped engines, which means we could also see it helping out Mazda’s new straight-six engine, set to power the upcoming Mazda6 sedan.

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