It’s been a while since Australian enthusiasts have had something new to enjoy from the Mazda brand, but a few tidbits about Mazda’s future suggest that the sports car isn’t a thing of the past.
With the new generation of the Mazda MX-5, the stylish Iconic SP, and the performance and sports car division taking the baton from MazdaSpeed (or MPS) all appearing in the last several months, it is Mazda that is shooting its own rival. for Toyota GR or even Nismo?
If so, it will be a slow mover, and will appear to have less petrol power if the early signs of a power outage are anything to go by.
Speaking to CarsGuide in early February, Mazda Australia Managing Director Vinesh Bhindi said the brand was always trying to find ways to bring ‘joy’ to its in-house lineup.
“We, as an Australian team, are always excited about anything Mazda Corporation brings,” Bhindi said. “And, you know, we’re those people who are always raising their hands to say, ‘hey, we can do something with this’.”
In particular, we asked about the Mazda Spirit Racing and whether that is something Mazda Australia has tried to put its weight (considerably, compared to Mazda’s other global markets) into getting involved.
“The official line from Mazda Corporation is something they plan to distribute only to Japan. And that’s what they’re sticking to.
“They haven’t told us ‘stop asking’ or ‘you can’t ask’. So we will investigate.”
Mazda Spirit Racing was confirmed as the new motorsport and performance department at the Auto Salon in January, alongside the ‘Mazda Spirit Racing’ modified Mazda 3 and MX-5.
“But at this stage, it’s highly unlikely that something (will be available) for Australia. But being the car fans that we are, it doesn’t stop us from asking.
“The worst they can say is no.”
On the MX-5, however, there’s more to enjoy.
Mazda has already confirmed that it has a department working on rotary engines as range extenders and “moving closer to the dream” of building a car based on the iconic SP car, to explain Mazda CEO Katsuhiro Moro.
When asked about the next-generation MX-5 and whether Mazda Australia had any expectations or plans, Marketing Director Alastair Doak said there was excitement among the company’s internal businesses.
“Yes! Yes, absolutely.”
And the relationship with Iconic SP? It looks like the next MX-5 will have a range extender.
“I think Moro-san, our president, at the Auto Salon was talking about that, the fact that (miniature transmission) is the plan.
“And there’s a powertrain, a rotary range extender version, which means you can have a small battery, still an EV, but you’ll also have range because you have it as a power generator.
“So evolution is kind of the thinking behind the MX-30 range. So yeah, that’s in the mix and we’re looking forward to it.
“I mean, it’s a cracking car.”
With a new MX-5 on the horizon and a local arm seemingly hunting headquarters for more, Mazda Australia may not be ready to demand as much attention as Toyota and its sub-brand GR, but those who care about driving certainly aren’t. . they are forgotten.
“I think the good news is that we’ve really signaled the sports car mentality, that sports car architecture, is at the heart of Mazda and will remain so for the foreseeable future.”