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Mazda RX9

The biggest problem with rotary engines was fuel efficiency. Possibly also the durability of the seals. It's nice not to have reciprocating movement of pistons, but you simply cannot get the high compression ratios with rotaries, nor are the combustion chambers ideally shaped for thermal efficiency. In the Carnot cycle, where you have to maximise the delta temperature between combustion and exhaust, compression ratio is key for high fuel efficiency.

The combustion problems also result in increased emissions, compared with piston engines. Mostly unburned hydrocarbons, CO2, and CO. And in this day and age, simply isn't a feasible option. Nevertheless, Mazda's RX7s were, without a doubt, legendary. Not to mention the wicked RX8. If Mazda brings out a successor or addition to the RX family, I'm pretty sure they will have to opt for a piston-based system.

Toyota Supra

Motoring fans across the world are eagerly awaiting the return of the Toyota Supra.

Toyota has been teasing the car’s return for months, with the car set to debut at the Geneva Motor Show next month. While spy shots of the car have surfaced, showing the car in heavy camouflage, just one official picture has been released by Toyota – a shadowy glimmer of its spoiler.

In addition to this, performance specs have been kept staunchly under wraps by the Japanese carmaker. However, leaked statistics from Japanese motoring magazine Best Car, seemingly confirmed the specs for the new car. According to Best Car, it is believed that the Supra will launch with a 3.0-litre six-cylinder dual overhead cam unit, which it very exciting!

Integra Type R

Type R is not a particularly well-known moniker amongst South African enthusiasts, probably because we only got our first taste of the hot Honda badge when the third generation Civic Type R (FN2) made its debut in South Africa in 2007. The Integra Type R was finished in Honda’s traditional racing white, along with its multi-spoke 15-inch wheels.

The extroverted exterior was matched by the Type R’s high-revving, normally aspirated four-cylinder motor, which produced 140 kW at 8 000 r/min and 178 N.m of torque. The 0-100 km/h sprint was recorded in 7,88 seconds and the Integra Type R went on to a 228 km/h top speed. A new version looks and sounds pretty energetic, who knows? Vtec, yo!

Honda S2000

Just as we thought Honda completely lost the plot, last year they gobsmacked us with the long-awaited NSX supercar, with the mid-mounted twin-turbo 3.5-litre V6 aided by a few electric motors, appeared at the top of the automaker’s lineup under its Acura brand. And it surely turns heads.

Honda launched the original S2000 on its 50th anniversary, in 1998. Twenty years on, it’s time to do it again. Our source reveals that Honda will commemorate its 70th anniversary, in 2018, by unveiling an S2000 replacement along with an RC213V-S superbike. The S2000 replacement was to employ the engine from the Civic Type R, but that plan is no more. “Sure, the Type R’s 2.0-litre turbo is a great engine,” said our source, “but by 2018, that would be old news. We need to take things forward. As a celebratory model, the sports car must be special, so it must have a new powertrain and a unique chassis.”

Japan’s Holiday Auto magazine reported that the next-gen S2000 will employ a two-stage electric boosting system. Similar to a technology developed by Mitsubishi, the system consists of an electrically driven supercharger, a conventional turbocharger, a bypass valve, and other components. Tests by Mitsubishi showed that such systems are not only compact and lightweight but achieve better fuel efficiency than current twin-turbos and nearly eliminate turbo lag. So throttle response is expected to be sharper than current turbos. According to their source, a design almost identical to Mitsubishi’s system will be bolted onto a longitudinally mounted 2.0-litre inline-four, making in excess of 320 horsepower. We’re also told that the S2000 will be fitted with an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transaxle to optimise weight distribution.

370z concept

It has been more than eight years since the current Nissan 370Z went on sale, but Nissan’s legendary Z-car soon will get its long-awaited redesign. The first major step will be taken at the Tokyo auto show this fall, where Nissan will reveal the next-generation Z concept, a preview of the production car said to offer several potent powertrains.

As this artist’s impression from Japan’s Best Car magazine shows, it is expected that the new Z concept and production car will have similar proportions to the outgoing coupe. The Z will also adopt an edgier styling language, including a gaping front end that takes cues from the latest GT-R facelift, and will ride on a shorter wheelbase courtesy of the Infiniti Q60’s FR-L platform. Of the three powertrains on offer, the flagship twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre V6, borrowed from the Infiniti Q60 Red Sport, is said to punch out a healthy 400 horsepower at 6400 rpm and 350 lb-ft of torque at 1600 rpm; it will be mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. If this version lives up to those expectations, it could put the Nissan toe to toe with rivals such as Porsche’s 718 Boxster S and BMW’s M2.

GTR R36 Concept

The R35 has been around for 10 years, and it will be until at least the end of the decade when Nissan will finally introduce an all-new GT-R.

When it will arrive, it’s going to be vastly different than the car available today, not just in terms of the underpinnings, but also as far the design is concerned. Nissan, through the voice of its creative chief, Nakamura-san, hinted in an interview with Top Gear magazine a couple of years ago the striking Vision Gran Turismo concept was kind of like a preview for the R36, saying some of the elements from the front and rear will have a correspondent in the road-going supercar.

Naturally, this speculative render is based on the concept in question but toned down a bit to make it more feasible for a production car. We can only hope the real deal will look nearly as good as this. As for the moment there aren’t any spy shots that would provide a glimpse into the GT-R’s next styling direction.

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