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Long rumoured but frustratingly unconfirmed, Mazda’s next ‘RX’ sports car doesn’t look like it’s coming to dealerships any time soon… and perhaps it never will. However, if you’ve got a Playstation 4 and Gran Turismo Sportyou’ll soon be able to get behind the wheel of the next best thing.
Sony has announced it will add the Mazda RX-Vision GT3 Concept to Gran Turismo Sport, joining the legion of other digital concept cars available in the game. Based on the real-world Mazda RX-Vision concept that debuted at the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show, it might be the closest we’ll get to actually driving a fourth-generation RX-7.
Built to comply with Group 3 regulations, the rotary-powered RX-Vision is a 562bhp car-of-our-dreams that weighs around the same as a Toyota 86 – 1250kg. Performance should be brisk, albeit strictly in the virtual realm. It definitely looks the part though, with significantly wider guards, centrelock wheels, lift-reducing gills on the wheelarches, bonnet pins, vented bonnet, side-exit exhaust and a foot-amputating front splitter all meshing nicely with the actual concept's sleek sheetmetal.
'The RX-Vision features a rotary engine at the heart of its FR layout and is a sports car that encompasses Mazda’s 'Kodo' ('Soul of Motion') design philosophy,' says a Sony press release.
Though we’ve held out for a new sports car from Mazda for some time, the fact Mazda is developing a more pedestrian variation of a rotary engine for non-performance applications is all we’ve got for now. Mazda product planners would sorely like a successor to the RX-7 in the frame, but economic realities mean it's a low priority for the Japanese company - a relative minnow in the automotive world.
'The new Gr.3 ‘Mazda RX-Vision GT3 Concept’ is coming to GT Sport in May and is sure to be a powerful ally to all Mazda drivers of the world competing in the official FIA Gran Turismo Championships. The Gr.3 Mazda RX-Vision GT3 Concept continues the legacy of Mazda’s legendary rotary engine sports cars and will be coming to Gran Turismo Sport through an online update on 25 May.'
The online races mentioned, the FIA GT Championships, could be part of a revitalised interest in virtual racing, with most motorsport seasons for 2020 now being heavily impacted by COVID-19 restrictions.