At the Tokyo Motor Show, more news about the suspected Rotary-engined sports car has been revealed, but unfortunately it’s not good news.
When asked about the comeback of the Rotary by Carsguide, senior managing executive officer Ichiro Hirose has a mixed message regarding the possibility of a new sports car. “It’s still our dream,” he says. “We never give up on that dream.”
Pushed further, though, and he warns of a battle that’s going on within Mazda on whether the car fits the current industry.
“I don’t know if we are having an RX-8 replacement, we have to see what the society thinks of that and what the environment is like in terms of accepting the idea of a sports car.” Obviously emissions are of a high concern to the Japanese marque, and in a world which is looking towards cars with electric hearts now more than ever, a Rotary may tarnish the current eco-friendly model lineup from Mazda.
“I understand that the clock is ticking and that the environment constantly changes, and we have to see if the current and future environment would be able to accept a sports car with open arms,” he continues.
“We understand that we are racing against time. But if the notion of driving a sports car causes people to think negatively about the pressure that is putting on the global environment, if having a sports car itself is seen as a negative thing, then we don’t want that.
“I think we need to consider different solutions, we need to explore various different ways to actually realise it, because what is important is to offer that sports car into the market.
“There are still many fans for sports cars, and I think it’s really about understanding the determination and hope of these sports car fans and then converting that into the power to push for the need for a sports car.”
More realistically, it’s likely that the current hatchbacks such as the Mazda3 will see performance versions before another sports car is introduced to the market, and a slightly more aggressive SUV could also be a possibility.
“If you look at the range that we have in product currently, I think we can say the Mazda3 hatch is quite fitted or suited to that kind of sporty vehicle,” he said.
“Personally, I’d like to try to have a high-performance version of this vehicle, but I said personally, and when I say personally you always say Mazda would like to.”