NEWS: Mazda to unveil heritage sports car concept at 2015 Tokyo Motor Show

Mazda is set to unveil a new sports car concept at the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show next month. That in itself is already cause to celebrate, but Mazda has gone on to state that this will be a heritage model. Sources from within the company have assured us that JNC readers will not be disappointed. Could it be a return of the rotary? Here’s what we can tell you so far.

Mazda Cosmo Sport L10A

Mazda issued the press release late today, along with a teaser photo that shows the sleek sports car silhouette. Though short, it contains some key phrases that should be noted. “The design of the sports car concept to be unveiled in Tokyo is modern but maintains a sense of lineage and authenticity, appearing almost to condense Mazda’s entire history of sports car development into a single model [emphasis added].” There are no quicker ways to the JNC staff’s hearts than words like these.

The statement also reveals that on display along with the concept will be a 1967 Cosmo Sport, Mazda’s thunderous proclamation that it was entering the sports car game. Again, from the press release: “A motor sports exhibit will feature racing-spec Roadsters and the Cosmo Sport will complement a heritage display showing Mazda’s history of convention-defying engineering [emphasis added].”

Though the word “rotary” is never spelled out, those who know their Japanese car history can read between the lines.

The Cosmo Sport was not only Mazda’s inaugural foray into sports cars, but the first dual-rotor production car in the world. It was soon followed by a slew of rotary-based cars from sedans to wagons, culminating in, most famously, the RX-7 and ending in 2012 with the RX-8. In that half a century, though every one from GM to Mercedes-Benz tried, no other automaker was been able to successfully master the rotary engine formula.


Peering at silhouette of the car in teaser, one can see both both the Cosmo Sport and the triple-rotor 1990 Eunos Cosmo in the front fender profile. The rear tumblehome evokes strongly the FD RX-7, as does the double-bubble roof and what appear to be round elements inside a taillight graphic that spans the rear.

It is not likely to be 86/FR-S/BRZ fighter. The proportions are that of a larger rear-wheel-drive sports car, and the Cosmo Sport that Mazda keeps alluding to was always meant as a flagship. Besides, Mazda already has the fantastic MX-5 to fill that niche.

No, this car will be a statement, like the Cosmo Sport before it. Keep in mind that Mazda could be resting on its laurels with the newly minted Miata. Instead, its doubling down on sports cars while much larger automakers are left trying to figure out how a small company like Mazda could devote a dedicated platform to the MX-5.

If it is indeed a rotary revival, then it would arrive just in time for 2017, the 50th anniversary of Mazda’s miracle motor. Whatever it turns out to be, Mazdafarians around the globe have reason to rejoice.

The Tokyo Motor Show takes place once every two years. In 2011, we showed you Toyota and Subaru’s take on a heritage model. In 2013, we reported  on Nissan’s heritage conceptJNC will be reporting live from the Tokyo Motor Show on October 28, so stay tuned. 

Photos courtesy of Mazda.


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23 Responses to NEWS: Mazda to unveil heritage sports car concept at 2015 Tokyo Motor Show

  1. Kuroneko says:

    Some media outlets are even calling it the ‘new RX-7’… See you there!

  2. ist about time to bring back the RX-series…

  3. Nigel says:

    Exciting…the rear window. (Hatchback ??)?

  4. invinciblejets says:

    God this is good news…If it didn’t have a rotary there will be riots.

  5. Censport says:

    As if I wasn’t anxious enough about going! That’s going to be one crowded stand, but I can’t wait to see it!

  6. wantyerknobbies says:

    Dear Mazda 1) Gawd NO rotary 2) don’t pull an IDX on us 3) Proceed

  7. Joe Cepeda says:

    @wantyerknoobie No rotary? Had a bad experience with an RX8?

    • wantyerknobbies says:

      Who hasn’t? Plus we all want this to be successful on it’s own and not be deflated by rotary issues of any sort.

      • Joe Cepeda says:

        Yea I hear yea but I’m wondering and hoping by today with the miracles of modern science if they will overcome the flaw. Holding my breath and money till I see this car with stunning reviews from other buyers

  8. VincenzoL says:

    I’m really hoping the all CEO’s talk of, “There will never be another rotary car unless we can sell over 500,000+ a year… but our engineers are still working on advancements for the rotary engine”, was just a ruse to throw journalists off their scent. Please please please!

    As bad as I want this to be the return of a rotary sports car or GT car (the RX8 was a horrible compromise) two things come to mind. One, if this car is a flagship grand touring model like the Eunos Cosmo was during the bubble era (and given the EPA’s strict guidelines) it could end up being only for the domestic market once again. That would be bittersweet. The second possibility I see is that maybe we are finally getting a MX-5 coupe. I guess in a few weeks we will finally know.

    • ahja says:

      I’m going to go ahead and reinterpret that ” 500,000″ ruse as the opposite of what you did, and take it to mean that Mazda has finally, after 6 decades, solved to rotary conundrum, and that the 1960s dream of rotaries powering everything from vacuum cleaners to aircraft carriers is imminent. In the end, I only care about Mazda’s rotary engine sportscar, but if I needs to believe the rotary revolution is finally happening for the RX7s resurrection, then so be it!

      Oh and a mere “MX5 coupe” would be the biggest blueballs of ALL TIME.

      • VincenzoL says:

        I like your interpretation! Trying to be optimistic as well.

        Yeah, a MX5 coupe wouldn’t be my first choice but it’s long overdue and I’m sure they would have no problem selling them.

        Just like others have said though, Mazda has always marched to the beat of their own drummer, so whatever it is I’m sure it will be amazing.

  9. Lupus says:

    It’s hard to belive that they want to build that car around a rotary engine. The strict emmision restrictions in European Union and most states of US won’t allow a RE to these markets. Unless Mazda’s engenieers will do some miracle job with developing a completly new engine desing wich won’t be so air-polluting as the 13B. Don’t get me wrong, i’d love to see (and mayby buy someday) a new rotary powered car. But it’s damn tough.
    And they most proabobly won’t keep it as a domestic market car. The globalisation makes it far more profitable to sell a car worldwide. Mayby this concept is somehow connected to the Toyota-Mazda partnership?

  10. j_tso says:

    Maybe a hybrid? They haven’t done one yet.

    • Dutch 1960 says:

      I’m hoping for a rotary/electric hybrid. The torque and power characteristics of each half of the hybrid power plant should complement each other very well. A rotary with monster torque from idle, yay! A rotary with great gas mileage, yay! An electric that sounds like something, instead of well, nothing, yay! A hybrid that does not look like a mutant runt of a Loewy Studebaker, yay! The technical and engineering work of marrying the rotary and the electric powerplants would be fascinating to study, too.

  11. Tom Westmacott says:

    I would love a new FD, and it would be awesome to see Mazda reprise their rotary sports heritage, which is so unique and widely respected among enthusiasts worldwide. I’m excited to see this concept revealed!

    It would be a dream to buy a new RX-7; however I won’t be holding my breath just yet. There are many headwinds facing Mazda, who have to battle severe emissions, efficiency and durability challenges with whatever resources they can spare after developing and selling mainstream cars in the ultra-competitive mass-market.

    Given this, I’ll stay realistic – and keep appreciating my beautiful, infuriating, agile, ruinous, beloved FD3S 🙂

  12. Kevin Truong says:

    Direct sequential injected, liquid hybrid cooled, turbo charged, Sky-Active Rotary anyone?

  13. ya_boy_yeti says:

    pop up headlights?

  14. mazluce says:

    So happy ?.
    I hope they do put it to production and not change their minds like some other manufacturers. Rotary or not, Mazda makes some great cars. Might have to delay that ND Miata I was contemplating of purchasing. It looks quite promings already, can’t wait for the reveal.

    • ahja says:

      That’s the true hope, and why we can actually start to believe this one, desu ne? Mazda ain’t like “other manufacturers”. Never has been. If that changes, we lose some world heritage and whatever. Mazda, save us. Tasketeyo!!!

      Look, Mazda is already turning me into a severe hikikomori, otaku, obsessed goon delinquent, and I only opened this page 5 minutes ago.

  15. ahja says:

    Oh Jesus Christ. I’ve been obsessed with the “2017 return of the RX7” rumor since I first heard about it 5+ years ago. But in the last year or so, 2017 seemed like too short a time for something to not even exist in concept phase yet. But could it be? Could Mazda be making a rotary SC500 competitor? And then, could they drop that drivetrain into a Miata chassis in a super effin sexy coupe body and we have the holy return of the RX7? COULD IT HAPPEN? Being a true old car enthusiast, I’ve said before that the only new car I will possibly ever buy in my entire life would be a reborn RX7, and it would have to make the FD look like an SA22C even then…

    I’m going to be all anxious and obsessed waiting for 10/28. Like an Indian kid hearing he’s finally gonna meet his arranged bride in 3 weeks.

  16. Beans says:

    This is great news!
    Like allot of people I too hope for a rotary but would not be surprised if this is the Atenza or Mazda 6 based GT coupe with Skyactiv engine reported on earlier this year.
    Being a dedicated Mazda owner myself and having visited the factory and Museum recently I noticed a couple of interesting things in the “Mazda into the future” area of the exhibit.

    If the new sports car was to be Rotary powered, going by the display at Mazda HQ my guess is a Hydrogen rotary with electric assist turbo. This engine was already on display in 2013 with a plaque saying development is still ongoing.
    Mazda also hinted that they were aware there was limited available filling stations for Hydrogen powered vehicles at the current time so they were working on ways to convert water to fuel internally. This included gathering rain water from the surface of the car and converting it within the vehicle. They are thinkers this Mazda group and I’m sure it will be amazing to see the next step in the companies evolution.
    Only wish I could be in japan for this years Tokyo motor show because I’d like to see Mazda on the big stage similar to the Nissan GTR launch I was luckily enough to witness a few years back.

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