The Iconic SP was inspired by the RX-7.  Now Mazda wants to do it

The Iconic SP was inspired by the RX-7. Now Mazda wants to do it


Mazda unveiled the Iconic SP at the Japan Mobility Show 2023, a concept inspired by the latest generation RX-7. Now, it has admitted that it wants to develop it as a new electric production car.

The 2023 Japan Mobility Expo brought some interesting examples, but one of the most praised was the Mazda Iconic SP Concepta car that brought back the unmistakable Mazda RX-7 (FD) style of the 90s. It was, without a doubt, an interesting creation and it seems that it will not stop there, since Mazda has admitted that it wants to develop it.

Our colleagues from TopGear The UK has been able to visit Mazda’s design center in Hiroshima (Japan) to see this model up close and talk to the brand’s head of design, Masahi Nakayama. There they have been able to discover all the keys to this unique car, such as the details of its inspiration and the possibility of reaching the road.

Initially, Nakayama acknowledges what we already thought: “The RX-7 was our main source of inspiration”. As he points out, the idea was that people would remember a sports car from the 90s when they saw this new model and it can be said that the goal has been achieved, thanks to the lines that resemble those of the legendary rotary engine. but that they had been modernized.

Of course, the appearance of the Iconic SP was not seen and this is something that was considered in its creation. In fact, it was not only about creating an attractive car, but one that caused an almost primitive effect on the public. Here’s what Mazda’s design chief explains:

“Mazda designs should stir something deep in our minds. It is not a logical question. It’s easy to think about it from a child’s point of view. I think there is a type of design that is more attractive to children,” says Nakayama.

“For example, children often look at toy cars from above, and the ones with the most interesting shape are the ones they like, if you look at this car from above, the shape is very interesting,” he adds. .

This philosophy is how the shapes of this sports model were conceived, but there is much more to its overall style. Details are important and have also been considered here, for example, with the type of interpretation of retractable headlamps.. For security reasons, they can’t go back to how they were, but here they are presented with a new formula.

In fact, this product has no benefits. In fact, it is something that adds difficulty to eye groups and cannot be considered practical. However, Nakayama notes that design does not always have to focus on functionality, but can also have an aesthetic goal:

“Someone once asked me why the lights open upwards, the answer I gave them was ‘why’, right? I explained to him that it is more than logical. That’s the kind of design that Mazda will follow. Designs that resonate deeply in our hearts,” he says.

To maintain, by the way, a rotating heart

Mazda MX-30 e-Skyactiv R-EV

Beyond its style, creating a car that resembles the Mazda RX-7 requires one more element that cannot be overlooked: the rotary engine. A sports car originally launched in the late 1970s and sold until 2002 featured this mechanism and, although the company no longer uses it as it did then, it is in one of its cars.

The Mazda MX-30 was born as an electric car, but recently received the R-EV version, which uses a small rotating propeller as an electric mechanics generator. This allows to increase its independence and add another pillar of the essence of the Japanese manufacturer to this SUV. It’s a new way to bring back this technology and this idea is replicated in the Iconic SP.

In the case of the Mazda model, the mechanical setup is the same as that of the MX-30, but it has a difference. According to the manufacturer, a power of 370 HP has been found here, which is sent to the rear wheels through an electric motor, which receives its energy from the rotating block that charges the battery.

“The RX-7 was marketed with the slogan ‘Designed by rotary.’ The rotary engine made it possible. With that in mind, our design incorporates many of the same motifs as the RX-7,” says the Asian company’s designer. ..

Will it hit the road? it is possible

Mazda RX-7 (FD)
Mazda RX-7 (FD)

So, it is obvious that Iconic SP is a kind of revival of the iconic Mazda RX-7 of the latest generation, but we already know that many prototypes are created without the idea of ​​taking them to the road. Unfortunately, this happens more often and more excitingly, but are we facing this situation in this case? Not at all.

It all depends on many factors, but after being asked about it, Masashi Nakayama has admitted that they want to build the Iconic SP as a production car. In fact, its design can almost be taken on the road as it is and can enjoy some popularity:

“I would like this car to be our next project. I really want to see it in the world,” affirms Mazda’s design chief.

Therefore, the project is a feasible project, It is possible that we are facing the return of the Mazda RX-7 in electrical design. In addition, it will not be the only Japanese car to return, as we also expect the return of the Toyota MR2 and Honda Prelude. Who knows, we might be looking at a second golden age of Japanese motorsport.