Mazda Iconic SP concept nears reality

Jet Sanchez
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Mazda Iconic SP concept

Mazda Iconic SP concept

Mazda's Chief Designer, Masashi Nakayama, has hinted at exciting developments for those with fond memories of the Mazda RX-7

In a conversation with Top Gear, Nakayama revealed Mazda's desire to transform the Iconic SP concept into a production model, potentially succeeding the legendary RX-7. 

"I'd like to make this car our next project. I want to see it out in the world that much," Nakayama said.

Nostalgia meets cutting edge

Mazda Iconic SP New Zealand

The Iconic SP concept, first revealed at the 2023 Japan Mobility Show, draws heavy inspiration from the third-generation RX-7. The concept perhaps most closely resembles the revered Series 8 Spirit R variant. 

"Our hope is that people will remember the RX-7 when they see it," Nakayama stated. 

The design manages to be both fresh and familiar, capturing the essence of the last-gen RX-7 while introducing modern elements.

Nakayama emphasises the importance of design that evokes emotion, aiming to "trigger something deep within our mind". 

This philosophy extends to the car's top view, which Nakayama believes is crucial for its appeal. 

Mazda Iconic SP New Zealand

"When you look down on this car from above, the form is really striking," he noted, likening it to the allure of toy cars for children.

While safety regulations have phased out pop-up headlights, Nakayama revives this feature with a creative approach. 

"Someone once asked me why the headlights open upward. The answer I gave them was, 'why not'. That's the kind of design that Mazda will pursue. Designs that truly resonate in our hearts," he explained.

Return of the rotary

Mazda Iconic SP New Zealand

Under the bonnet, the Iconic SP concept diverges from traditional models. It combines a rotary engine used as a generator with a 272kW electric motor on the rear axle. 

This unique setup allows for an electric vehicle experience without a bulky battery. The car's weight is kept under 1451 kg, ensuring a perfect 50:50 weight distribution.

Mazda's Rotary Engine Development Group is spearheading the development of this innovative powertrain. 

The group focuses on revitalising the rotary engine, adapting it for various eco-friendly fuels, thereby preserving the thrill of internal combustion more sustainably.

Mazda Iconic SP New Zealand

The potential production of the Iconic SP concept as an RX-7 successor holds much promise. 

It aims to offer the classic excitement of driving a rotary-engine vehicle, coupled with the efficiency and environmental considerations of modern EVs. 

Mazda enthusiasts can look forward to a unique blend of nostalgia and innovation as the Japanese carmaker continues to redefine the future of motoring.


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