According to recently discovered Japanese patent filings, it appears Mazda is working on a flagship sports coupe. The unearthed illustrations show a rear corner view that looks like the stunning RX-Vision concept but with a slightly more production-friendly shape.
The patent drawings were posted to Taku2-4855 and show detailed diagrams of an aluminum spaceframe for what is clearly a two-door coupe. Most of the drawings have to do with structural supports and the way in which they mitigate collision damage or minimize vibrations.
It’s hard to discern anything from these bits hidden deep between the sheetmetal, but what we can say is that this doesn’t not appear to be the skeleton of a mass-market car. Instead, the complexity and efforts put into rigidity are more in line with a high end sports or race car.
We only get a few clues to the exterior. One is from the rear corner angle (lead image), and there it bears a striking resemblance to the RX-Vision. Though the rear fender is not quite as curvaceous, both the C-pillar and the notch for the taillight seem to align with the 2015 concept’s. A drawing of the trunk area structure shows a large hatch-like opening reminiscent of Mazda sports cars past.
Another hint of the car’s exterior comes from a side view of the roof and rear hatch area. The steeply raked A-pillars and roof structure bear a close resemblance to the RX-Vision as well.
A different series of illustrations show the seating position. It appears to use a Y-frame structure over the center tunnel with each arm of the Y extending toward the strut towers, a setup that should provide incredible chassis rigidity.
A closer look at the center tunnel shows a massively reinforced structure. Legendary sports cars like the Lotus Elan and Toyota 2000GT also had a Y-frame structure, using the trunk of the Y as a spine to support the body of the car, rather than a box of rails along the perimeter. This allowed the driver to sit extremely close to the ground, lowering the center of gravity and providing that go-kart feel sports cars aim for.
Another schematic shows a double-wishbone suspension at the rear. According to Taku2-4855, the front suspension is a double-wishbone in the as well, proving that Mazda is serious about the car’s handling.
Taking a closer look at the overhead view, we can see what appears to be very short engine bay. Of course, this immediately evokes dreams of rotary power, but we think it’s highly unlikely that Mazda would introduce a purely rotary car in today’s automotive climate.
Another diagram indicates 48-volt hybrid system with in-wheel motors at the front wheels. A rear transaxle appears to deliver power to the driven wheels, which could account for the the small engine bay in front. This implies a hybrid all-wheel-drive system.
Even if it doesn’t have rotary power, this is still a pretty exciting development. We’ve known that Mazda is working on a rear-wheel-drive sedan for quite some time. A coupe was thought to be in the works simply because it made sense to diversify the platform with a few different body styles, but this seems like the most concrete confirmation of a sports coupe yet. Mazda has trademarked the MX-6 name, though this car seems to rank higher than its sports coupe from the 80s. MX-60, perhaps? Or, maybe something completely different altogether.