Is Mazda finally about the get back into the performance car game?
We haven’t seen a properly hot Mazda since the 3 MPS died in 2013, but a new trademark suggests the Japanese brand is finally going to give enthusiasts a car to celebrate.
A Japanese filing unearthed by newnissanz.com reveals Mazda has trademarked a new R brand, complete with a stylised logo all of its own.
Using the R brand 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.