From the moment Mazda unveiled this stunning concept earlier this week at the Japan Mobility Show, we've been wondering whether it's related to the MX-5 or a revival of the RX. At 4,180 millimetres (164.6 inches) long and 2,100 mm (82.8 in) wide, it's substantially bigger in both directions than the MX-5. However, it's still shorter than the RX-8 but way wider. Adding to the confusion is the two-seat layout, which is more MX-5 than RX-8 as the latter had back seats.
There's also a massive weight gap between the concept and an MX-5 considering the former tips the scales at 1,450 kilograms (3,197 pounds) (distributed 50:50) whereas the latter weighs 1,132 kg (2,496 lbs) in its heaviest guise, the RF with the automatic. Depending on the version, the RX-8 weighed between 1,310 kg to 1,384 kg (2,886 lbs to 3,051 lbs).
Mazda Iconic SP Concept
Mazda says the Iconic SP moniker is intentionally vague so as not to create a clear link to either of the two sports cars. Speaking with Automotive News Europe, Chief Designer Masashi Nakayama revealed they made the showcar bigger on purpose but it "could easily be shrunk down to MX-5-like proportions." In theory, it means there wouldn't be any packaging constraints despite having to cram in a two-rotor engine, an electric motor, and a battery pack.
Speaking of the engine – which acts as a generator to charge the battery instead of driving the wheels – Mazda CEO says it can take multiple types of fuels. Masahiro Moro told ANE the ICE has been developed to run on biofuels, hydrogen, or liquified petroleum gas (LPG). In the Iconic SP, the interesting rotary-electric setup is good for 365 bhp and runs on carbon-neutral fuel.
Moro went on to mention "The roadster is the icon of Mazda's brand, and the rotary EV is a concept for the future iconic model." His statement gives us hope the Iconic SP with its eye-catching Viola Red paint will happen one day, unlike the equally gorgeous RX-Vision concept from 2015.