Welcome back, RX-7: meet the gorgeous twin-rotor electric Mazda Iconic SP
Though Mazda’s Japan Mobility Show stand was awash with MX-5 messaging – even going so far as showcasing a mint Mk1 – this stunning new concept coupe instead doffs its cap to the RX-7. About. Time.
Welcome to the classiest show car on display in Tokyo. It’s called the Mazda Iconic SP, a compact, classically proportioned sportscar built to simply embody “the joy of driving”.
“It’s not the craziest car at the show,” Mazda’s European design director Jo Stenuit told TopGear.com, “but it’s the most beautiful. It’s looking towards a future of driving fun.
“For me, it’s an RX. When I look at the design cues, especially in this colour, I see the RX-7,” he added. Us too, and it’s a very good sight indeed. There’s a simplicity in its silhouette that runs from a very modern interpretation of pop up headlights, across the roofline and into that very simple rear treatment.
“There are a few details here that point to the future,” Stenuit added. “As designers, even in the EV era, we still want to have a ‘fun to drive’ sportscar, which we’re really famous for.”
As such, the fundamentals are fairly straightforward. There’s a rotary engine featuring twin rotors, though here – as in the MX-30 R-EV – it’s used merely to charge the battery which in turn powers the electric motors. No word on how many motors, but we know the rotary has been fitted “in the centre of the car, resulting in a low hood”.
Indeed, in designing the car, Mazda’s designers were keen to get a shape with a low centre of gravity to deliver on this premise of being fun to drive – or “excellent driving performance”, as it explains.
The 365bhp output certainly helps, especially when it only has to motivate 1,450kg of car. “It’s wider, lower and longer than an MX-5,” Stenuit said, “so it’s a different kind of animal”. Weight distribution is said to be 50:50 – of course – and Mazda said the ICE can be run on “various fuels such as hydrogen”.
“Mazda will always deliver vehicles that remind people that cars are pure joy and an indispensable part of their lives,” Mazda CEO Masahiro Moro said. “As a car-loving company that mass produces the inspiring mobility experience, we are committed to shaping the future with our partners sharing the same goal, as well as our fans, where everyone can proudly say ‘we love cars’.”
We happen to quite like the RX-7, too. Does this car resurrect that bloodline? “That’s what we would love to do,” Stenuit said. The petition starts here.