New Mazda RX-7? Iconic SP Concept With Rotary EV System

New Mazda RX-7? Iconic SP Concept With Rotary EV System

If you count yourself among the many waiting for a new Mazda RX-7, the Iconic SP concept car could be the closest we’ve come yet to a next-generation RX-7 rotary coupe.

Mazda unveiled the Iconic SP concept car at the 2023 Japan Mobility Show, formerly the Tokyo Motor Show. The compact sports car concept was the star of the show thanks to its striking sports car proportions, vibrant Viola Red paint job, and the accompanying announcement of a next-generation rotary EV system powering it.

Mazda Iconic SP Design & Dimensions

A New Mazda RX-7 Concept Design?

The RX-7 served as the main source of inspiration during the design process of the stunning new Iconic SP. One look, and it’s not hard to see the resemblance to the FD RX-7 and the RX-7 models before it. The pop-up headlights, the shape and thickness of the B-pillar, and the wrap-around rear glass all suggest the Iconic SP is the carmaker’s latest interpretation of the RX-7 for a new era.

Regarding the design process and modeling framework for the Iconic SP, Mazda says:

“We aimed to achieve proportions with a low center of gravity that would give the impression of excellent driving performance. The concept of mounting the lightweight and compact rotary engine in the center of the car has resulted in a low hood.”

The combination of electric motors and a compact two-rotor engine made the low-slung proportions possible.

The Mazda Iconic SP dimensions and weight are as follows:

  • Length: 164.6 inches (4.18 meters)
  • Width: 72.8 inches (1.85 meters)
  • Height: 45.2 inches (1.14 meters)
  • Weight: 3,197 pounds (1,450 kilograms)

Iconic SP Rotary EV System: Mazda Rotary for a New Era

The stunning Mazda Iconic SP is motivated by the next generation of Mazda’s famed rotary engine, featuring a two-rotor design like most prior production models. However, this time, the two-rotor Mazda rotary engine is utilized as a power generator, assisting the electric motors that drive the wheels by charging the onboard battery.

So, while the legendary Mazda rotary engine will not power the wheels as in previous RX models like the famed RX-7, a two-rotor engine will still be on board, spinning away and aiding this high-powered electrified powertrain.

Mazda says the current iteration of its two-rotor rotary EV system powering the Iconic SP concept pumps out 365 horsepower. That figure would already make it the most powerful production Mazda rotary engine ever if this rotary EV system does find its way into a production vehicle, that is.

The last Mazda RX-7 developed up to 276 horsepower before it ceased production after the 2002 model year in Japan, with its nearest successor, the Mazda RX-8, making 232 horsepower and discontinued in 2012.

The new two-rotor rotary EV system is similar to the setup used in the Mazda MX-30 R-EV model sold in select markets. Except, the MX-30 R-EV features a single-rotor design and is front-wheel drive only.

Any production version of the Iconic SP – a new Mazda RX-7 or otherwise – would likely come with a version of the new two-rotor EV setup equipped with rear-wheel drive (RWD).

Given the Iconic SP concept’s classic sports car dimensions and continuation of the legendary RX-7’s lines and lineage, it’s only fitting for a potential production version of this low-slung coupe to be RWD.

What Mazda Says About a Production Version

So, will Mazda finally produce another rotary-engined sports car? And will it be based on the RX-7-inspired Iconic SP and the automaker’s next-gen rotary EV system?

President and CEO Katsuhiro Moro has indicated the automaker would like to move closer to the production of a new rotary sports car. A new RE Development Group, featuring a team of 36 engineers, has been formed and is working on rotary engine development for potential future production vehicles.

Regarding the new two-rotor EV system, Mazda says it is a highly scalable rotary powertrain engineered to generate electricity via a variety of carbon-neutral fuels, including hydrogen.

Stay Tuned for More: Mazda Iconic SP Concept to Production?

Mazda Iconic SP images – Source: Mazda

We can only hope that a road-going version of the Iconic SP will be fast-tracked as Mazda’s next production rotary-engined sports car and feature similar proportions and performance to this stylish concept.

However, Mazda has said its new rotary EV system is scalable to fit a variety of vehicle segments, including an even smaller car with MX-5 Miata proportions.

Alternatively, the new high-powered two-rotor EV system could first debut in a production crossover SUV before ever making its way to a new Mazda RX-7 or similar rotary sports car.

We’ll have to wait for more details on the design and development of a new rotary sports car from Mazda and its new RE Development Group. Stay tuned to MazdaMotoring and subscribe to our newsletter for more.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What will be the Mazda Iconic SP price?

There is no production version of the Mazda Iconic SP slated for now, so any pricing for a potential next-generation rotary sports car like a new Mazda RX-7 is purely speculation. Still, we anticipate any upcoming production rotary sports car based on the Iconic SP would feature pricing in the $55K-$80K range, depending on its performance specs and available trims and features.

Is the Mazda Iconic SP a new Mazda RX-7 or Miata?

The RX-7 was the design inspiration behind the Mazda Iconic SP concept car. From its low-slung coupe silhouette down to its pop-up headlights, the Iconic SP shares similar styling to all previous generations of the iconic Mazda RX-7. Mazda has said the Iconic SP design and rotary EV system could also be applied to an even smaller car, like a Miata roadster.

When is the Mazda Iconic SP release date?

No Mazda Iconic SP production version has been announced as of this writing. So, any potential release date for this model or even a new Mazda RX-7 based on its design and two-rotor EV system is likely still years away. We’ll have to wait for more announcements from Mazda regarding any ongoing development of a production rotary sports car. Stay tuned to MazdaMotoring for updates.