The Mazda Iconic SP concept has finally made its long-awaited debut at the Japan Mobility Show, and it’s bringing with it a feature that sports car enthusiasts have been waiting for since 2012 – a rotary engine. This new concept, resembling the company’s Vision Study design from the previous year, is slightly larger than the MX-5 Miata and could potentially be the next generation of the iconic RX-7.
But there’s a twist. Unlike the RX-7, the Iconic SP doesn’t use the rotary engine to directly power the wheels. Instead, it uses the two-rotor mill to charge a battery with unknown capacity. This battery then powers an unspecified electric motor layout. Although there are still unanswered questions regarding the powertrain specifics, one thing is certain – the Iconic SP boasts an impressive 365 horsepower. Additionally, Mazda claims that the rotary engine can run on various fuels, including hydrogen and renewable fuel, and the battery can be recharged by plugging it into a home outlet.
In terms of size, the Iconic SP measures 164.6 inches in length, 82.8 inches in width, and 45.2 inches in height. It is 10.5 inches longer than the current MX-5 Miata and 4.1 inches shorter than the 1995 RX-7. Weighing in at 1,450 kilograms (3,197 pounds), it’s slightly heavier than the RX-7 and significantly heavier than the Miata. However, compared to other sports cars like the Toyota Supra and Nissan Z, the Iconic SP’s weight is still relatively light.
Despite its larger dimensions, the Iconic SP manages to maintain an aesthetically pleasing appearance. Mazda attributes this to its compact powertrain, which allows for a low hood and ultra-compact dimensions. The car features distinctive Coke-bottle fenders, RX-7-style windows, and a rear hatch, effortlessly blending modern design with classic elements. The iconic Mazda grille shape can be seen on the front, while the taillights are reminiscent of both the NA-generation Miata and the FC-generation RX-7. The upward-opening doors add a touch of elegance, reminiscent of Aston Martin’s swan wing design. The Iconic SP is painted in a vibrant shade called Viola Red, which adds to its sporty appeal.
Inside the Iconic SP, minimalism takes the spotlight. The design is sleek and flowing, with only a typewriter-key gear selector, digital instrument cluster, and small infotainment display breaking the smooth lines. The dashboard and door panels feature kakenui stitching, first introduced in Mazda’s CX-90 SUV. The seats are upholstered in biofabric, a material pioneered by Mazda in 2009, made from renewable plastic.
The combination of plug-in electric and range-extender technology is not entirely new to Mazda. The MX-30 PHEV already incorporates a 0.8-liter single-rotor powerplant to keep the battery charged. Given that the MX-30 uses a 0.8-liter single-rotor design, it is speculated that the Iconic SP’s two-rotor engine might displace 1.6 liters. Furthermore, the sports car’s engine can function as a V2L generator, making it suitable for various applications, from powering tailgate parties to providing backup power during severe weather.
Mazda describes the rotary engine architecture as scalable, suggesting that it could potentially be used in other applications. Smaller rotaries could be utilized in dedicated home generators, while larger vehicles could combine multiple rotors to generate more power. Regardless, the main focus of the Iconic SP concept is to emphasize Mazda’s commitment to providing an exhilarating driving experience.
Speaking about the concept, Mazda’s Representative Director, President, and CEO, Masahiro Moro, said, “Mazda will always deliver vehicles that remind people that cars are pure joy and an indispensable part of their lives […] we are committed to shaping the future where everyone can proudly say, ‘We love cars.'”
In conclusion, the Mazda Iconic SP concept is an exciting glimpse into the future of Mazda’s sports car lineup. With its rotary engine, stunning design, and commitment to driving enjoyment, it is sure to captivate car enthusiasts around the world.