Mazda is examining potential pathways to preserve the core ethos of the MX-5 Miata, which has traditionally been a lightweight and simplistic roadster, as the automotive industry transitions to electric vehicles.
During the unveiling of the Iconic SP concept car at the 2023 Tokyo Auto Show on Wednesday, the company showcased a possible strategy to mitigate the excess weight commonly associated with electric vehicles. This involves equipping the vehicle with a smaller battery complemented by a range-extending rotary engine that is compact and lightweight.
The Iconic SP, a fixed-roof sports car, serves as an indicative blueprint for the future iterations of the MX-5 Miata. While Mazda was reticent about specific details, they did note that the concept is built on a dedicated electric vehicle platform and has a total weight of approximately 3,200 pounds. This is about 1,000 pounds more than the current MX-5 Miata.
To compensate for this additional weight, the vehicle’s power output is significantly increased to 370 horsepower, roughly twice as much as the existing MX-5 Miata. Although exact specifics were not disclosed, Mazda did mention that the range extender in the Iconic SP consists of a compact twin-rotor rotary engine with a scalable architecture and the capability to operate on multiple types of fuel, including hydrogen.
Mazda MX-30 R-EV
The concept of utilizing a rotary engine as a range extender in an electric vehicle is not merely speculative for Mazda. Earlier this year, the company introduced such a configuration in the MX-30 electric compact crossover in select markets. The range-extended version, known as the MX-30 R-EV, employs a battery that is half the size of the standard MX-30’s, with a capacity of just 17.8 kWh. According to Mazda’s calculations, the MX-30 R-EV should be capable of traveling upwards of 300 miles with a fully charged battery and a full tank of gasoline.
Design Influences and Future Outlook
The exterior design of the Iconic SP draws inspiration from the RX-Vision concept, which was revealed at the 2015 Tokyo Auto Show, resulting in a silhouette more akin to an RX sports car than a Miata. However, certain design elements, such as the taillights, bear resemblance to those found on the first and second generation of the Miata. The interior of the vehicle is minimalistic and is equipped with an automatic transmission.
During the unveiling event in Tokyo, Mazda’s CEO Masahiro Moro conveyed that the Iconic SP concept epitomizes Mazda’s aspirational solution for the MX-5 Miata in the era of electrification. He emphasized that the company is diligently working to bring this concept to market.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Mazda Iconic SP concept
What is the Mazda Iconic SP concept?
The Mazda Iconic SP concept is a fixed-roof sports car unveiled at the 2023 Tokyo Auto Show. It serves as a potential blueprint for future iterations of the MX-5 Miata, featuring a dedicated electric vehicle platform. The concept car aims to maintain the Miata’s lightweight and simplistic nature while adapting to the era of electric vehicles.
How does Mazda plan to keep the MX-5 Miata lightweight in the electric age?
Mazda is exploring the use of a smaller battery coupled with a compact and lightweight rotary range extender to keep the weight down. This approach is designed to mitigate the extra weight commonly associated with electric vehicles.
What are the specifications of the Iconic SP’s power output?
The Iconic SP is designed with a power output of approximately 370 horsepower. This is roughly double the output of the existing MX-5 Miata. Specific details about the powertrain were not disclosed by Mazda.
What type of engine serves as the range extender in the Iconic SP?
The range extender for the Iconic SP is a compact twin-rotor rotary engine with a scalable design. It has the flexibility to operate on multiple types of fuel, including hydrogen.
Is this the first time Mazda is using a rotary engine as a range extender?
No, Mazda has previously introduced a rotary engine as a range extender in the MX-30 electric compact crossover in select markets. The range-extended version, known as the MX-30 R-EV, features a smaller battery and can cover more than 300 miles with a full tank of gas and a fully charged battery.
What is the estimated weight of the Iconic SP?
The estimated weight of the Iconic SP is approximately 3,200 pounds, making it around 1,000 pounds heavier than the current MX-5 Miata.
What did Mazda’s CEO say about the Iconic SP?
Mazda’s CEO Masahiro Moro stated during the unveiling event in Tokyo that the Iconic SP concept epitomizes Mazda’s aspirational solution for the MX-5 Miata in the electric era. He emphasized that the company is diligently working to bring this concept to market.
What design elements of the Iconic SP were influenced by previous Mazda models?
The exterior design of the Iconic SP draws inspiration from the RX-Vision concept revealed in 2015. However, certain design elements, such as the taillights, bear resemblance to those found on the first and second generation of the Miata.
More about Mazda Iconic SP concept
- Mazda Official Website
- 2023 Tokyo Auto Show
- Mazda MX-30 Official Page
- RX-Vision Concept
- History of the Mazda MX-5 Miata
- Mazda Rotary Engine Technology
- Electrification in the Automotive Industry
- Masahiro Moro Executive Profile