Mazda is exploring the possibility of a new rotary sports car, but with a twist—this one would incorporate a battery and an electric motor. The rotary engine is an iconic part of Mazda’s history, thanks to models like the RX-7 and Cosmo. The company has given us a glimpse of this potential future with the ICONIC SP concept.
If the ICONIC SP concept seems familiar, it’s because it has evolved from the Vision Study Model concept revealed in late 2022. At the 2023 Tokyo Motor Show, Mazda unveiled the ICONIC SP alongside an updated version of the fourth-generation Mazda MX-5.
Mazda’s President and CEO, Masahiro Moro, expressed the company’s commitment to preserving the joy of driving in the age of electrification, stating, “We love the MX-5, and the world loves the MX-5. We are determined in the age of electrification to keep the joy of driving which the MX-5 represents alive, and the Mazda ICONIC SP, with its dual rotary power generator EV powertrain, is our dream solution.”
The ICONIC SP’s dimensions (4180mm long, 1850mm wide, and 1150mm tall) bring it closer to the final FD-generation RX-7. Its rotary power combined with the sleek design evokes memories of Mazda’s sports car icon from the 1990s.
Mazda recently introduced a new rotary hybrid, the MX-30 R-EV, which uses a single rotor to power the electric motor as a range extender. The ICONIC SP, on the other hand, features two rotors and an electric powertrain, which Mazda believes is ideal for sports car applications. The company claims that the rotary engine will be capable of running on various fuels, including hydrogen.
The ICONIC SP has a weight of 1450kg, making it relatively lightweight compared to some other sports cars, such as the latest BMW M2 (1,725kg). It is claimed to produce 275kW of power, which is approximately 75kW more than the final edition of the FD-generation RX-7.
In terms of design, the SP closely resembles the Vision Study Model concept, with minor differences in the headlight cluster. The sleek coupe profile, low bonnet, smooth surfacing, curved side window, and overall proportions pay homage to the FD-generation RX-7.
Inside the minimalist cabin, you’ll find an automatic gear selector and a central touchscreen displaying information on regenerative braking, launch control, active aerodynamics, G-force vectoring control, and a 360-degree camera. The driver’s display includes a G-force readout and a mini-map of Monaco’s street circuit.
While it’s too early to predict an exact release date for a production version of the ICONIC SP, given the current MX-5’s age, it’s likely that a road-ready SP could emerge by the middle of the decade.
|Mazda ICONIC SP Concept|
|– Mazda explores a new rotary sports car with a battery and electric motor|
|– Inspired by iconic Mazda rotary-engine models like the RX-7 and Cosmo|
|– Evolution of the Vision Study Model concept, revealed in late 2022|
|– Unveiled at the 2023 Tokyo Motor Show|
|Mazda CEO’s Vision|
|– Mazda’s CEO aims to maintain the joy of driving amidst electrification|
|– The ICONIC SP concept features a dual rotary power generator EV powertrain|
|– Length: 4180mm|
|– Width: 1850mm|
|– Height: 1150mm|
|– Evokes the styling of the final FD-generation RX-7|
|– Mazda introduces a new rotary hybrid, the MX-30 R-EV|
|– ICONIC SP features two rotors and an electric powertrain|
|– Rotary engine capable of running on various fuels, including hydrogen|
|– Estimated power output: 275kW (approximately 75kW more than the final FD-generation RX-7)|
|Weight and Design|
|– Weight: 1450kg (comparatively lightweight)|
|– Design closely resembles the Vision Study Model concept|
|– Sleek coupe profile, low bonnet, and homage to the FD-generation RX-7|
|– Minimalist cabin design|
|– Automatic gear selector|
|– Central touchscreen with information on regenerative braking, launch control, active aerodynamics, G-force vectoring control, and a 360-degree camera|
|– Driver’s display with a G-force readout and mini-map of Monaco’s street circuit|
|– Exact release date for a production version of the ICONIC SP is uncertain|
|– Possibility of a road-ready SP emerging by the middle of the decade|