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.