New Mazda Iconic SP revealed: rotary-engined sports car gets EV technology

October 25, 2023 by

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Mazda has brought back the rotary-engined sports car, although not in the way you might think. Read on for all you need to know.

  • New Mazda Iconic SP revealed
  • Compact sports car with a rotary engine
  • Traditional sports car design
  • Electric-powered with rotary range extender
  • 370hp and weighs 1,450kg
  • May go on sale in 2025

This is the new Mazda Iconic SP, and it signals the return of the rotary-engined sports car, but not in the traditional sense.

This concept uses a dual-rotor engine as a generator to charge a battery and power an electric motor, a bit like the Mazda MX-30 R-EV.

New Mazda Iconic SP design

In a world of massive SUVs, the new Mazda Iconic SP is a breath of fresh air. This concept has something of the old Mazda RX7 about it, albeit thoroughly modernised.

That long sloping bonnet and the haunched wings make this look like a true sports car, and there are no fake grilles in sight either. The slim headlights are barely visible, with a body-coloured covering helping it look sleek and modern.

The Iconic SP also has a pretty traditional side profile thanks to the stubby rear end and wheel-at-each-corner stance. It has some Aston Martin-esque doors as well which open upwards, and there are some chunky side skirts.

When you look at this car from the rear, you can see the flared rear arches which help make the car look more muscular. The tail lights also have a simple, round design which make it look almost Ferrari-ish.

New Mazda Iconic SP motors and performance

Those hoping for a reincarnation of the Mazda RX8 may be disappointed to find that the Iconic SP doesn’t have a traditional petrol-powered rotary engine. This is actually an electric car with a dual-rotor engine providing electricity for the motors.

See how a bonkers rotary-engined sports car gets on in a drag race…

Mazda says that this car will have 370hp, around 35hp more than a Toyota Supra and 35hp more than the single-motor version of the forthcoming MG Cyberster is expected to get. The engineers have also managed to keep the weight down, with the Iconic SP tipping the scales at 1,450kg. That’s almost 50kg lighter than a Supra.

The engine can also run on a variety of fuels, including hydrogen. Running the Iconic SP on renewable fuels such as this means you can throw your sports car around on a backroad in a carbon-neutral state.

New Mazda Iconic SP interior

The cabin of the new Mazda Iconic SP has an equally minimalist design as the exterior, helping keep things looking driver-focussed.

You have a sporty-looking three-spoke steering wheel, a simple driver’s display and a central infotainment screen to control most of the car’s functions. There’s also some body-coloured flashes across the doors, and the whole cabin is trimmed in a posh suede material.

When can I buy a new Mazda Iconic SP?

Being a concept car, probably not for a while yet. You’re likely to have to wait until at least 2025 before you see this car in a production-ready state. Until then, the MX-5 will be your go-to for backroad kicks.

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