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First look: Wraps come off another Mazda rotary

Sleek: Senku features winged doors, four seats and hybrid-rotary power.

Mazda to unveil a new four-seater rotary concept at Tokyo, plus an all-new MPV

10 Oct 2005

MAZDA will have a huge presence at the 39th Tokyo motor show next week, when it will unveil a four-seater rotary concept alongside its all-new MPV people-mover.

Described as "a four-seater rotary sports car for adults", the Senku concept appears similar in concept to Mazda’s smash hit RX-8.

However, in what the company says is a next-generation design standard that meets increasing environmental and safety standards, Senku features an ultra-long wheelbase, minimal overhangs, a total lack of body ornamentation and large "flying wing" electric-powered sliding doors.

The coupe’s leather-clad cabin gives priority to front seat occupants, but heralding hybrid power for Mazda is a next-generation 13B direct-injection rotary engine mated to an electric motor.

Mazda claims the hybrid Senku, which means "pioneer" in Japanese, produces a high power output but low fuel consumption, along with a low centre of gravity and 50/50 front/rear weight distribution.

Alongside it at Tokyo will be a redesigned version of Mazda’s MPV people-mover, which has been on sale here in 3.0-litre V6 guise since June 2002.

22 center imageSoon to be launched in Japan and a likely Australian starter in 2006, the new MPV (pictured left) will be joined in Tokyo by Hydrogen RE (rotary engine) versions of the compact Premacy people-mover and RX-8 sports car.

Both hybrid concepts combine a dual-fuel hydrogen/petrol rotary engine with an electric motor, mounted transversely up front and driving the front wheels. Mazda says the RX-8 HRE is viable for practical use and will be commercially leased in the future.

It will also use Tokyo to unveil technologies like its Smart Idling Stop System, Integrated Vehicle Dynamics Control System, Sideswipe Preventing Communication System and an Adaptive Front Lighting System.

The Tokyo show will also host the Japanese debut of Mazda’s full-size MX-Crossport SUV. As previously reported, the production version of MX-Crossport will receive the CX-7 moniker and goes on sale in the US in the first half of next year.

Revealed as the MX-Crossport concept at the Detroit motor show in January, CX-7 is also designed as a right-hand drive vehicle and remains under evaluation for Australia, where it could be sold by 2007.

In other local Mazda news, the E-Series van will be discontinued next year due to new emissions regulation, while the B-series utility range will comprise a V6 variant from next month.

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