The Mazda RX-Vision GT3 is an ultra-sleek virtual race car
Mazda has revealed a sleek virtual race car with a high-performance rotary engine.
Called RX-Vision GT3, it’s the latest addition to Gran Turismo Sport’s Vision series of fantasy racers, and is available to download and race in the PlayStation 4 game now.
While most manufacturers let their imaginations run totally wild when designing Vision cars, Mazda has kept its new creation grounded in motorsport reality. Based on the RX-Vision concept first revealed at the 2015 Tokyo motor show, it has been modified to conform with official GT3 regulations.
Modifications include a wider track front and rear, chunkier wheel arches, removal of heavy materials and a stripped-back interior. The aerodynamics have been improved through the addition of a large air bonnet vent and tweaks to the front and rear spoilers and rear diffuser.
Power comes from a front-mounted four-rotor engine making 562bhp. Mazda enthusiasts have lamented the death of the rotary engine, which powered the firm’s classic sports cars such as the RX-7, but rumours suggest the quirky motor could make a return in Mazda’s hybrids in the future.
Like a piston engine, a rotary engine – often referred to as a Wankel engine after its inventor Dr Felix Wankel – makes its power through igniting a compressed mixture of fuel and air. However, instead of using pistons, it uses a triangular rotor that spins within an oval chamber.
Increasing the number of rotors increases the capacity of the chambers, similar to increasing the size and number of pistons in a typical engine, which improves performance by allowing more fuel and air to be ignited in each revolution. Therefore, the ‘four-rotor’ engine in the RX-Vision GT3 uses four separate rotors within four chambers.
Rotary engines work well in performance applications because they perform best at high revs, but have proved difficult to make reliable in mainstream applications as they require a completely different style of driving to work properly. They also use a lot of oil, making running costs higher than conventional engines.