Mazda launches Spirit Racing as spiritual successor to Mazdaspeed

Mazda’s big news out of the Tokyo Auto Salon was the fact that CEO Masahiro Moro let slip that he was reassembling the rotary engine development team. That overshadowed the launch of Mazda Spirit Racing, but perhaps it shouldn’t have. The sub-brand is now being billed as the successor to Mazdaspeed.

“For the first time in 25 years since MazdaSpeed we have established a factory motorsports division: Mazda Spirit Racing,” Moro said at the event. Spirit Racing has been competing in Japan’s Super Taikyu endurance series since 2021. The cars that have participated thus far have included various iterations of the Mazda 2, Mazda 3, and ND Roadster. Now, however, Mazda Spirit Racing is releasing road-going cars derived from their lessons at the racetrack.

The cars have upgraded suspension and aerodynamics, and are tuned to be track-worthy. At first blush that might not seem like a tremendous deal, as Mazda does not discuss any engine modifications. The Roadster Spirit Racing Concept has Mazda’s SkyActiv-G 2.0-liter engine under the hood and the Mazda 3 Spirit Racing Concept is powered by a 2.5-liter turbo four. These engines are standard in the US, but until now neither powerplant has been offered in these cars in Japan. It’s not a huge step, but these cars are an exciting development for the Japanese market.

There’s no word on whether the Spirit Racing branding will be extended to other markets outside of Japan. Campaigning a few production-based cars in Super Taikyu is still a far cry from developing prototype racers for Le Mans, but it at least shows there are signs of life at Mazda.

 

 

Images courtesy of Mazda.

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2 Responses to Mazda launches Spirit Racing as spiritual successor to Mazdaspeed

  1. steve says:

    That is a pretty weak name compared to MazdaSpeed.

  2. Taylor C. says:

    Agree. “Mazdaspeed” creates an identity, carries on a legacy, and resonates easily.

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