Mazda files 'swan door' patents
Swan doors aren't a new thing, but they sure are pretty. Mazda have filed a patent for the doors in the US, possibly for use in the hyped RX-9.
Aston Martin has used a similar design on a slew of models, which allows the doors of low-slung cars not to scrape against curbs by introducing a degree of lift to the door as it opens. AM's design opened to 12 degrees while the Mazda will operate from five to 15 degrees, according to the US patent.
The patent is actually dated to February 19, 2016, which says the design should be well under development. It also doesn't help Mazda CEO's "no sports car" stance, as he announced last year that the company wasn't working on a sports car bigger than the MX-5. Mazda's own 'Zoom Zoom' magazine discussed the futures of the rotary earlier this year as well, creating a strong indication of the RX-9's production.
The design employs a torsion bar to hold the door open, and the "torsional energising force" in the bar will make it easier to close the door as well.
The design sketches also show a frameless design, something much more at home on a sports car than a conventional passenger car.
The RX-9 name was trademarked by Mazda last year and, according to Japan's Holiday Auto via Wheeltalk, a next-generation SKYACTIV-R rotary engine was approved by Mazda's board.
Just quietly, it's sounding pretty good for the rotary revival... But as is the norm, wait until official word. It's the 50th anniversary of Mazda's rotary this year, so a debut at the Tokyo Motor Show in October could well be on the cards, with a proper launch happening in 2020, the centenary for Mazda.