Though Mazda was once a force to be reckoned with in the sports car realm, the Japanese marque has shifted away from this identity, with the sportiest models it currently offers being the Miata and the Mazda3. As the Hiroshima automaker prepares to pivot to an all-electric lineup, however, it’s using this transitionary period as an opportunity to tap back into its old performance-focused DNA. And while any new production sports cars from the brand are still far off on the horizon, it’s nonetheless giving the motoring public an early glimpse of its future automotive offerings in the form of the newly-unveiled Mazda ICONIC SP Concept Car.
Sporting an unmistakably sleek and modern design language, Mazda’s ICONIC SP concept represents the future of the brand while keeping one foot firmly planted in the past. Boasting a 101.96” wheelbase and a near-perfect 50:50 weight distribution, the concept bares a striking resemblance to Mazda’s legendary third-gen RX-7, albeit in a markedly more modernized form. The concept doesn’t merely look like the RX-7 FD, as it also features a rotary-based powertrain — albeit of a very different kind. In place of the RX-7’s petrol-fed Wankel mill is a unique dual-rotor rotary EV system that comes mated to an automatic transmission.
Good for 272kW (or 365hp), this two-rotor EV setup also utilizes a highly scalable rotary engine that can run on a myriad of different fuel types including hydrogen. The vehicle’s batteries can also be replenished via recyclable energy sources and by the two-rotor rotary engine itself. The battery pack also enables the ICONIC SP to act as a mobile power bank. The entire powertrain has also been mounted low, in the center of the car — a design decision that not only gives way to a super low center of gravity, but one that’s also allowed for a very low-profile hood shape, not needing to accommodate an engine that’s typically stored beneath. Measuring 164.5” in length, 72.8” in width, and standing at 45.27” tall, this low-slung sports car concept also weighs in at just 3,196.7lbs — a very svelte figure for an electric vehicle. Looking more like a concept rendering than an actual completed vehicle, the car has also been cloaked in a coat of Viola Red paint. An Alcantara-clad interior with a flat-bottom steering wheel and carbon-backed seats further point to the vehicle’s sporty performance.
Aiming to, in the manufacturer’s words, “simply embody the joy of driving,” the Mazda ICONIC SP Concept Car is currently on display at the Japan Mobility Show. And while the company has yet to reveal any plans to mass produce the concept, we seriously hope an ICONIC SP production model eventually becomes a reality.