Mazda Iconic SP concept envisions the rotary-powered sports car of the future

Published Oct 25, 2023


Mazda’s iconic rotary engine is back where it belongs - in a sports car - but not in the way you might have envisioned it before the EV revolution came along.

The Mazda Iconic SP concept, which made its global debut at the Tokyo Mobility Show on Tuesday, shows us how the Japanese brand aims to keep its sports car flame alive in the electric era.

Like the Mazda MX-30 R-EV it’s an electric vehicle that uses a rotary engine as a range extender, and it’s quite powerful too, with Mazda quoting an output of 272kW.

Although its 4.81 metre length and 1,450kg kerb weight make it somewhat portlier than the current MX-5, the Iconic SP concept is still impressively light for an EV.

Mazda says this powertrain format, with a two-rotor rotary EV system, is the perfect solution for sports cars and it’s also able to burn a variety of fuels, including hydrogen.

Surely you don’t get more future-proof than that?

Mazda’s engineers also managed to achieve a low centre of gravity and optimal weight balance by mounting the compact rotary engine in the centre of the car.

This also gave its designers the freedom to pen its sleek proportions, which includes a low bonnet line.

“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,” said Mazda President and CEO Masahiro Moro.

“A dream we will work hard to launch. Mazda will always deliver vehicles that remind people that cars are pure joy and an indispensable part of their lives.”

IOL Motoring