Mazda Iconic SP Sports Car Revealed at Japan Mobility Show 2023

Mazda Iconic SP Sports Car Revealed at Japan Mobility Show 2023
The Mazda Iconic SP concept made its grand entrance at the Japan Mobility Show today, unveiling an exciting innovation that car enthusiasts have eagerly awaited since 2012: a rotary engine. It bears a striking resemblance to the company’s Vision Study design from the previous year and stands as a slightly larger counterpart to the existing MX-5 Miata, carrying forward the legacy of the RX-7 in an intriguing way.

However, the Iconic SP distinguishes itself from its legendary coupe predecessor by employing its twin-rotor powerhouse for an unconventional purpose. Instead of propelling the wheels, it harnesses its rotary engine to charge a mysterious battery, which subsequently supplies energy to an undisclosed electric motor configuration. While inquiries linger regarding the R-EV’s powertrain specifics, one thing is certain – there is a substantial abundance of power, boasting a precise 365 horsepower. Mazda asserts that the rotary engine exhibits versatility, capable of operating on various fuels like hydrogen and sustainable alternatives. Moreover, the battery offers the convenience of home recharging via a standard electrical outlet.

Measuring in at 164.6 inches in length, 82.8 inches in width, and 45.2 inches in height, the Iconic SP surpasses the current MX-5 Miata by 10.5 inches in length and falls short of the 1995 RX-7 by 4.1 inches. As per the manufacturer’s information, the Iconic SP tips the scales at a somewhat hefty 1,450 kilograms (3,197 pounds), signifying a weight gain of about 400 pounds in comparison to the RX-7 and nearly 800 pounds more than the Miata. Nevertheless, this weight increment remains modest when compared to the 3,342-pound Toyota Supra or the 3,519-pound Nissan Z.

Remarkably, the Iconic SP carries its larger dimensions with grace. Mazda attributes this to the compact powertrain, allowing for a remarkably low hood and exceptionally compact dimensions. The Iconic SP’s distinctive Coke-bottle fenders provide a modern contrast to the RX-7-inspired windows and rear hatch. The automaker’s contemporary grille design adorns the front, while the taillights, resembling a Venn diagram, evoke nostalgia from both the NA-generation Miata and the FC-generation RX-7. The upward-swinging doors lend an elegant touch reminiscent of Aston Martin’s swan wing design. The Iconic SP boasts a radiant Viola Red paint job, brighter than the company’s signature Soul Red Crystal, a fitting choice for a sports car.

Stepping inside, the Iconic SP embodies a triumph of simplicity. Its design flows gracefully with minimal distractions, featuring a typewriter-key gear selector, a digital instrument cluster, and a compact infotainment display. The distinct kakenui stitching, initially introduced on the CX-90 SUV, adorns the Iconic SP concept’s dashboard and door panels. The seats are adorned with biofabric upholstery, a term that hasn’t graced Mazda’s vocabulary since their development of renewable plastic-based seat materials in 2009.

The amalgamation of plug-in electric and range-extending technology is not entirely new, even within Mazda’s lineup. The MX-30 PHEV, for instance, boasts a 0.8-liter single-rotor powerplant under the hood to maintain the battery charge. Considering the Iconic SP’s use of a twin-rotor engine, it could potentially displace 1.6 liters, extrapolating from the MX-30’s utilization of a 0.8-liter single-rotor configuration. Furthermore, the sports car’s mill can serve as a V2L generator, suitable for a wide range of applications, from tailgate gatherings to emergency power during adverse weather conditions.

Mazda characterizes the engine architecture as scalable, hinting at the possibility of employing renewable-fuel rotary technology in diverse applications. Smaller-scale rotaries could find purpose as dedicated home generators, while larger vehicles might string multiple rotors together to generate more substantial power. Nevertheless, it is essential to note that the Iconic SP concept embodies Mazda’s unwavering dedication to prioritizing the joy of driving above all else.

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