Home / Social media / News / The Mazda Iconic S Concept revives the beloved rotary powerplant, but not in the way we want.


There have been quite a few statements online that alluded to the fact that a new rotary-powered car was on the horizon from the only automaker to ever make them work properly, Mazda. These weird little Dorito engines have a serious fanbase thanks to the many rotary-powered cars that were created, the most sought-after being the Seris 6 Mazda RX-7, often referred to as the FD. That was the most modern incarnation of the car and engine, and it ended production back in 2002. While fans were upset, the replacement RX-8 also received one of these dual-rotor, small-capacity powerplants, but this time it was left normally aspirated. As soon as the car hit the streets, tuners and modifiers all tried their hand at extracting the same power that the FD was able to make, but the powerplant was made out of paper and just didn’t take to the usual mods. In fact, it was quite common to see a brand-new RX-8 fitted with a 13B powerplant sourced from the RX-7. RX-8 production did last around ten years, and it never got a better or updated powerplant. Production of the beloved rotary motor ended in 2012, and since then fans have been patiently waiting for a new generation to be made. The thing is, while the rotary powerplants had a small capacity and were capable of making great power, they were inefficient when it came to emissions and so it seems any plans to bring the engines into compliance were put on the back burner as Mazda joined other automakers in the pursuit for efficient and more environmentally-friendly engines, as well as electrification of engines. That aforementioned new rotary powerplant is here, and it was unveiled at this year’s Japan Mobility Show.

You’d expect the world’s rotary fans to rejoice, but alas, it’s not exactly the same kind of thing as before. While it’s still technically similar, it’s also completely different. It’s a twin-rotor EV system that uses a highly scalable rotary engine that can burn various fuels such as hydrogen and generates electricity with carbon-neutral fuel. When the battery is charged with this electricity derived from renewable energy, it is possible to drive in a virtually carbon-neutral state. So rotary, but not. It’s not the kind of setup that can be upgraded with carbon apex seals or bridgeporting of the ports. This new tech is wrapped up in the form of the Mazda Iconic SP, and it’s a damn good-looking thing, which makes it a bit of a pity at the same time. Placement of the motor gives the car a near-perfect 50:50 weight distribution, and it also allows for a lower bonnet and an awesome overall body shape. Masahiro Moro, Mazda's Representative Director, President and CEO commented: “Mazda will always deliver vehicles that remind people that cars are pure joy and an indispensable part of their lives. As a car-loving company that mass-produces the inspiring mobility experience, we are committed to shaping the future with our partners sharing the same goal, as well as our fans, where everyone can proudly say, 'we love cars.' With such a strong will, Mazda is committed to enrich life-in-motion for those we serve.” Could it be a new MX5? A continuation of the RX-series? We’re keen to see where this concept leads to.

Take a look at the YouTube video that shows off the great-looking Mazda Iconic S Concept car that was recently revealed at the 2023 Japan Mobility Show. The car has been much-anticipated thanks to the use of a rotary powerplant, but it's different to the highly-tunable spinning Doritos that have split eardrums for years: Mazda Iconic SP Sports Car Revealed at Japan Mobility Show 2023 | DPCcars

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