Toyota has collaborated with Subaru and BMW on sports cars, and the next tie-up reportedly sees it working with Mazda – and rotary power could be on the cards.
Japanese outlet Best Car Web reports Toyota will introduce its first pure electric sports car in 2026, and Mazda’s engineers are part of the car’s development program.
Mazda could reportedly use the new Toyota’s underpinnings for a sports car of its own, which could feature rotary power.
Said engine would feature as a range extender and not the primary source of propulsion, much like the upcoming range extender MX-30 which will be the first Mazda with a rotary engine in a decade.
The upcoming MX-30 variant is understood to use its rotary engine to charge the battery rather than drive the wheels.
The future Mazda sports car would reportedly use the upcoming electric Toyota GR sports car’s battery and electric motor, and supplement it with the rotary engine. It could also feature rear-wheel drive.
Mazda is also reportedly still working on a hydrogen-powered rotary engine.
The company has been investigating a hydrogen-powered rotary since the early 1990s, putting a RX-8 into limited production in the 2000s that could run on either petrol or hydrogen.
It’s also previewed hydrogen-powered versions of Mazda 2 and Premacy.
Likewise, Toyota has also been dabbling with hydrogen-powered combustion engines, previewing a hydrogen GR Yaris.
The RX nameplate and rotary engine have long been rumoured to be revived by Mazda.
A Japanese filing unearthed by newnissanz.com last year revealed Mazda has trademarked a new R sub-brand, complete with a stylised logo all of its own.
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.
Mazda blog Taku2-4885 found Japanese patent filings last year revealing Mazda has patented the aluminium spaceframe structure of a new two-door coupe model.
One drawing gives us our best look at the vehicle, revealing a rear three-quarter view of a two-door coupe that looks quite similar to the 2015 RX-Vision concept.
We can see a shapely coupe silhouette with muscular haunches, a steeply raked rear window, and a short rear deck.
The Japanese auto industry has produced some iconic sports cars over the years, and most brands are working on new sports cars.
Honda has previewed two electrified sports cars – a “specialty” and a flagship model, the latter of which could replace the current NSX. They’re due before 2030 and Honda says they’ll be offered globally.
Toyota has already previewed an all-electric sports car among the 16 EV concepts it revealed late last year.
At the same reveal, a future Lexus supercar was also revealed in concept form.
Nissan is introducing a replacement for its 370Z sports car this year called the Z, while the company has confirmed it’s working on a replacement for its GT-R which will feature some form of electrification.