Mazda has unveiled the Iconic SP ahead of the Tokyo auto show, providing more details on the streamlined sports car first seen virtually last year as the "Vision Study Model."
The Iconic SP is powered by electric motors, with a twin-rotor rotary engine acting as a generator to recharge the battery as needed.
The concept is about 10 inches longer than the current Miata and features a simplistic interior with a small screen and few physical switches.
A year ago, Mazda teased a slinky sports car concept called the "Vision Study Model" that we theorized was an early look at an electric MX-5 Miata. Now Mazda has brought back the concept for a proper reveal ahead of the 2023 Tokyo auto show. Dubbed the Iconic SP, the sports car is actually significantly larger than Mazda's famous roadster and is powered by a hybrid rotary-engined setup.
Mazda Iconic SP Details
Mazda didn't reveal a ton of details about the Iconic SP, but the automaker did publish dimensions. The concept measures 164.6 inches long, 72.8 inches wide, and 45.3 inches tall, with a nearly 102-inch wheelbase. This makes it about 10 inches longer than a Miata, four inches wider, three inches shorter, and with an 11-inch lengthier wheelbase. At 3197 pounds, it is also about 850 pounds portlier than a Miata.
Under the hood lives a hybrid system pairing an unspecified number of electric motors with a twin-rotor rotary engine. Mazda says the rotary engine is used for power generation, implying that it is simply a range extender that charges the battery and doesn't directly drive the wheels. Mazda uses a similar setup in the MX-30 e-Skyactiv R-EV, revealed earlier this year for global markets with a single-rotor engine serving as a battery generator.
Mazda says the Iconic SP's engine runs on a carbon-neutral fuel, but it can also "burn various fuels such as hydrogen." The powertrain pumps out 365 horsepower, which should make the slinky sports car fairly quick. The concept also allegedly acts as a power supply, allowing you to run appliances while spending time outdoors or in the event of an outage.
Mazda says the concept is designed for customers who “desire a car that simply embodies the joy of driving” and touts a low center of gravity and a 50:50 weight distribution. The sleek hood sits low between the front fenders thanks to the compact rotary engine, and the bodywork is incredibly smooth, like a piece of seaglass that has been polished by waves for eons. A version of Mazda's smiling grille sits below what appear to be pop-up LED headlights.
The cabin is simplistic, with a small screen to the right of the steering wheel and a series of sliders on the center console. A small digital gauge lives behind the steering wheel—displaying a track map of the Monaco Grand Prix circuit and a g-force meter—and the interior surfaces appear to be upholstered with a luxurious-looking suede. The concept is painted a vivid shade called Viola Red, matching the red stitching inside.
It's unclear exactly what the Iconic SP represents. Although the concept is bigger than the Miata and features a radically different powertrain than the MX-5's 2.0-liter inline-four, Mazda's Tokyo auto show exhibit will feature a variety of Miata models.
Mazda has already said that the Miata would become electrified to some degree for its next generation, so it's possible that the rotary-hybrid setup here could become reality. Either way, it is a reassuring look into a future where Mazda will remain committed to small, light sports cars.
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