Mazda to show sports car concept at Tokyo Motor Show, but what does it mean?

Mazda sports car concept 2015 Tokyo motor show

Mazda released a teaser for a sports car concept to be revealed at the Tokyo Motor Show.

Is this the Miata Coupe everyone says they want? Or is it a bigger car, a replacement for the Mazda RX-8 of the 1990s—or a RX-8 redux?

It’s hard to tell from the teaser provided by Mazda, and it’s only a concept—not a production model—that will be shown at the Tokyo Motor Show. It’s not necessarily even a precursor to an actual car that will be made for sale. And at this point, it’s only a “rendering,” not even a photograph of what will be shown.

Said Mazda about the concept:

“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.”

2016 Mazda Miata

The 2016 Mazda Miata has a more pronounced “Coke bottle” shape than the concept rendering, which has a flatter window sill, suggesting “not a Miata coupe.”

So, not a Miata coupe. And anyway, the fender line and window sill look flatter and less curved than those of the 2016 Miata, more perhaps like the 1993-95 Mazda RX-7 though without the creased and bulging fenders of the RX-8. The Mazda RX-8 also had its peculiar reverse opening rear door for a diminutive rear seat. The rendering of the concept does not appear to have a back seat.

And don’t expect a rotary engine. Despite condensing Mazda’s entire sports car history, Mazda put rotary engine development on the far back burner, allocating engineering resources to developing Skyactive engine technology (which also included diesel technology, though with the debacle with Volkswagen’s diesel engine and the real difficulties in making an efficient yet competitively priced, its quite likely Mazda ran into the same problems as VW, but decided not to cheat). For all its advantages, the rotary engine has challenges in emissions and fuel consumption.

Regardless, the “real concept” will appear at on October 8th. That’s not that long of a wait.

1993 Mazda RX-7

The front fender and window sill line of the sports car concept more resembles the 1993 Mazda RX-7 than the Miata.