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Mazda Iconic SP – An RX-7-Inspired Rotary Hybrid Concept Car

When it comes to automotive surprises, Mazda knows how to keep us on our toes. Just as the brand did at the recent Japan Mobility Show. We’re talking about the Mazda Iconic SP Concept Car. This is no ordinary car and certainly not the next-generation Miata we were all secretly hoping for. However, the Iconic SP takes the sports car game and technology to a whole new level.

To create this special concept vehicle, Mazda drew inspiration from one of its iconic sports car pillars, the third-generation FD RX-7. The result is a bold, powerful, and sporty concept car. Speaking of power, the Mazda Iconic SP inherits the hybrid powertrain from its predecessor. Combining that with the sleek styling gives the Iconic SP Concept Car a captivating fusion of heritage and innovation.

We will delve into Mazda’s bold experiment, eyeballing its exterior and interior design, as well as the powertrain and its potential driveline set-up.

The Mazda Iconic SP Is A Sleek Sports Concept Car

The Japan Mobility Show was expected to be a sneak peek at the next Miata. Instead, the spotlight fell on something entirely unexpected. It’s like tuning in to your favorite sitcom for the latest episode and finding out it’s now a musical.

From the outside, the Iconic SP doesn’t just hint at its FD lineage; it practically shouts, “I’m your sporty ancestor reborn!” It’s like looking at an old friend who went through a time machine, and now they’re back with undeniable vintage charm. The design is taut, curvy, and as athletic as an over-enthusiastic marathon runner in a retro tracksuit.

But it’s the details that really make you do a double-take. Who would have thought that you’d come across a car with pop-up headlights? Especially in this day and age. It’s as if the Iconic SP is waving hello to the ’80s, with a dash of nostalgia. And if that’s not enough, there’s even a subtly bubbly rear glass area and hidden door handles. It oozes that James Bond vibe.

The circular taillights? Oh yes, they take you straight back to the later FD models, like a flashback to the glory days of automotive design. Of course, Mazda couldn’t resist throwing in some modern flair with the current Mazda grille and angular headlights, which, once again, are retractable – because why not? It’s a compact marvel, about 10 inches shorter than an RX-8 and a whole 10 inches longer than the current Miata. In other words, it’s the Goldilocks of sports cars, finding that “just right” size between its Mazda siblings.

The Mazda Iconic SP Brings A Well-Designed And Sophisticated Interior


Stepping inside the Iconic SP is like entering a time machine `that has been set to “retro chic.” If there ever was such a thing. The interior, much like its FD ancestor, embraces minimalism with a dash of driver-centric swagger. It’s like finding a classic vinyl record player in a world filled with streaming services. Talk about refreshingly uncomplicated.
The dashboard is a study in simplicity. Mazda likely wanted to keep it less cluttered, and we love how it looks. You’ll notice only a couple of key features: the instrument binnacle proudly positioned in front of the driver. It’s sort of there to remind you that this is your domain. There is a mall infotainment screen that humbly resides low in the center stack. This part of the cabin doesn’t exactly steal the show (and it doesn’t have to). But at least it showcases the car’s modernized nature.

And then, the transmission. It’s something akin to an automatic, as indicated by the switches in the center console. But here’s the twist – the design playfully emulates a gated shifter, reminiscent of those modern Ferraris.

The Mazda Iconic SP Concept Has A 364-horsepower Powertrain


As for the powertrain set-up, Mazda decided to play its cards close to the chest, sharing very few details. It’s frustratingly mysterious. It’s like a magician who never reveals his secrets. But at least we know the high-level details.

What do we know? The Mazda Iconic SP is a twin-rotor hybrid. But the puzzle pieces are far from complete. Mazda’s CEO, Masahiro Moro, did drop a tantalizing hint during a press conference, mentioning that it could provide off-board power. Now, that sounds like something a plug-in hybrid might do. But, hey, that’s just us playing the guessing game.

Furthermore, Mazda proudly touts this engine as “highly scalable. This means that the engine could be easy to produce. As hotcakes on a Sunday morning, right? We’re not quite sure if that scalability means ramping up manufacturing. It could also mean customizing rotor units for various vehicles. It’s a coin toss for us, really?

And if that’s not enough to leave you scratching your head, the Iconic SP is quite the culinary chameleon. It’s designed to feast on hydrogen or “carbon-neutral” fuels. Oh, and it could presumably run on good old gasoline, too, because sometimes you just crave a classic.

The Iconic SP’s twin-rotor setup dishes out a combined 364 horsepower. While we know the power output, Mazda hasn’t specified how that power is split between the engine and motors. We don’t even know how the power gets to the wheels.

A Possible Rear-Wheel Drive Set-up?


As for what lies beneath the Iconic SP’s curvaceous exterior, well, it’s a bit of a mystery. That adds more mystery to a car we never even thought we would see. And so far, Mazda hasn’t spilled all the beans on whether this Iconic SP Is a rear-wheel Drive or a Four-wheel drive car.

But if we were to wager a guess, our money is on rear-wheel drive. Why? Well, let’s face it, when Mazda says “sports car,” it’s usually rear-wheel drive.

The grand reveal also includes some vital statistics. The entire package weighs in at a modest 3,197 pounds. That makes the Mazda Iconic SP significantly lighter when compared to some behemoths. But here’s where it gets even more exciting: that weight is evenly distributed front and rear. This will ensure a more harmonious dance of power and precision – like a finely tuned orchestra, except with a conductor who’s a bit of a mystery – rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive, the choice is yours to imagine.

The Iconic SP Is A Potential Production Sports Car


Now, let’s talk about the elephant in the room – the prospect of the Iconic SP making it to your nearest dealership. A couple of things to consider here. First, Let’s consider how drop-dead gorgeous this concept is. Secondly, let’s look at Mazda’s track record with sports cars. With that, it’s only natural for us to fantasize about seeing it on the production line. But here’s where the reality check crashes the party.

How likely is it for the Mazda Iconic SP Concept Car to hit the streets in its current form? Mazda did reintroduce the rotary engine in Europe with the MX-30, but that little gem, unfortunately, hasn’t, and probably won’t, make its way to American soil. It’s like knowing that your favorite dish exists, but it’s just not on the menu.

The conundrum doesn’t end there. We’re left scratching our heads, pondering what other vehicles could potentially make use of this unique powertrain, making it a rather expensive endeavor to launch. Could Mazda pull it off? We’d love to say we’re holding our breath. But we’re not quite ready to turn blue. At least not just yet.

Wilfred Nkhwazi
Wilfred Nkhwazi
🚗 About Wilfred Nkhwazi - Founder of Flagship Drive 🌍 Meet Wilfred Nkhwazi, an automotive writer, and explorer of the open road. 📚 With more than five years of experience in the world of automotive writing, he's the visionary behind Flagship Drive. As a seasoned writer, he brings a wealth of knowledge and insight to Flagship Drive, providing readers with the latest news, reviews, and trends in the automotive world. Wilfred has a keen eye for detail and a deep understanding of the technology and engineering behind cars, making him the go-to expert for all things automotive. When he isn't behind the wheel, you can find him exploring the latest automotive innovations or attending industry events. He is also the curator of, where he dissects the finest details of automobiles.


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