It could be one last shot for the rotary engine, with Mazda confirming a new sports coupe concept is bound for the Tokyo motor show.
If you’re a big fan of the Wankel single-piston unit, it’s exciting … but also be careful to not get too excited. The Japanese brand has previously stated that the rotary engine, last seen in 1.3-litre RX-8 guise, could never pass modern emissions standards (and thanks to a certain German brand, those tests may now be stricter than ever).
On the other hand, more recently a Mazda executive has confessed a team of engineers remains singularly dedicated to rotary development inside company engineering headquarters. Rest assured that engineers of Hiroshima adore this peculiar engine design as much as its fans.
Either way, the single teaser image released shows a two-door coupe that appears notably wide. Deeply recessed tail-lights appear on current Mazda trend, with a broad stretch of plastic in between and what could be a retractable rear spoiler.
A small rear window gets a notable Hofmeister kink over decently muscled rear wheel arch flares. The bonnet appears quite long, too, proportionally similar to a Mazda MX-6 (though hopefully this concept won’t share a Mazda 6 platform as that 1990s model did with the then-current 626).
What’s harder to gauge is the overall size – in the case of the new MX-5, it’s deceptively small in the metal, yet doesn’t look tiny in photos.
“The design of the sports car concept to be unveiled in Tokyo is modern but maintains a sense of lineage and authenticity, appearing almost to condense Mazda’s entire history of sports car development into a single model,” the brand announced in a statement.
Mazda has in the last few years reaped the rewards of building a great range of cars, having investing in its products in the post-GFC era where other Japanese rivals slashed development costs. The brand has always said it needed to sort its mainstream line-up first before it can get on with building more sports cars – and we get the feeling that time may have arrived.