Mazda is currently embarking on an electrification journey and SUV rollout, while still keeping the door open for alternative fuels. Could a new sports car also be on the horizon?

    While Mazda sells the MX-5 as its bread and butter sports car, a rumoured rotary halo car has been on- and off-again for some time.

    Don’t write Mazda off just yet. The brand could finally be breaking ground on a new sports car to join the MX-5 in its line-up.

    Speaking to media at the CX-60 reveal in Portugal, Mazda Europe director of design Jo Stenuit was keen on the idea of another sports car to sit alongside the MX-5.

    “It would be cool, no? Sure, yeah, everybody would want one,” Mr Stenuit said.

    When asked what it would look like and whether it (or the MX-5) would be an electrified vehicle, Mr Stenuit unsurprisingly said any electric Mazda sports car would need to be a work of art.

    “It would be beautiful, but most importantly it would drive really well. I’d imagine it would drive better than the current MX-5. I can just imagine myself driving through the woods with an electric [sports car] and it would be nice.”

    This follows on from Mazda registering the ‘R’ brand trademark, suggesting it’s working on a sporty sub-brand.

    The R name would be a departure from the norm for Mazda, which has previously used MPS, RX, and MazdaSpeed badging for its performance cars.

    It did, however, recently use the R360 coupe in a range of images to celebrate its 100th Anniversary. Is Mazda preparing an homage?

    We’ve been teased, teased, and teased again about the potential for a return to rotary performance cars by Mazda, most recently with the RX-Vision and its GT3 spinoff, the latter of which is a Gran Turismo special.

    We also know Mazda is preparing a range of cars built on a rear-wheel drive architecture, with power from electrified inline-six engines, so it could also become a performance sub-brand in keeping with BMW M, Mercedes-AMG, and Audi RS.

    Mazda has slotted the turbocharged 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine from the CX-9 and CX-5 into the smaller 3 sedan and hatchback, but those cars (which remain off the table for Australia) don’t have a special performance badge.

    The last performance Mazda to make it Down Under was the 3 MPS, which was sold until 2013 as a rival to the Volkswagen Golf GTI.

    Either way, we’re excited about the potential for a new Mazda sports car, whether it’s electric or rotary.

    Paul Maric

    Paul Maric is an Australian car expert based in Melbourne, Australia. Paul is a founder of & formerly part of the CarAdvice founding team.

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