Iconic SP: Mazda’s hydrogen-powered sports EV concept is here | CAR Magazine

Iconic SP: Mazda’s hydrogen-powered sports EV concept is here

Published: 25 October 2023 Updated: 25 October 2023

► Iconic SP revealed at the Tokyo Mobility Show
► A preview of the MX-5 of the future
► A hydrogen-powered range extender

What will the compact sports car look like in the age of EVs? For Mazda, it could look like this; the Iconic SP. Unveiled at the Tokyo Mobility Show earlier today – alongside the latest MX-5 – the Iconic SP is ‘a compact sports car concept designed to adapt to a new era.’ It underlines Mazda’s commitment to the fizzy sports car, regardless of what’s under the bonnet. 

It looks great! 

Mazda’s design office is on an epic run, and the Iconic SP continues the trend. It’s an electric car underneath, but it’s been penned as classic junior sports car – just like the original MX-5. Clean and flowing lines keep things classy and timeless – and even the interior is relatively basic. And unlike most electric concepts, the Iconic SP doesn’t suffer from the usual smattering of bright blue streaks – this car is electric, but that’s not the reason for its existence.

What are the tech specs? 

Mazda says the Iconic SP will put out 374bhp, but its low weight (for an EV) of 1450kg promises to salvage the dynamism and agility the MX-5 has come to signify. Interestingly, Mazda says it’ll be powered by a dual rotary power generator EV powertrain – which is a long way of saying it’ll use a range extender. 

Iconic SP: Mazda’s hydrogen-powered sports EV concept is here

However, unlike the rotary range extender in the MX-30 R-EV, Mazda says the powertrain in this car could be adapted to burn a variety of fuels, including hydrogen and possibly e-Fuels.   

The Iconic SP will be mid-engined: although it’ll use a battery electric motor, its rotary engine will be packaged in the centre of the car for performance reasons.

‘We love the MX-5, and the world loves the MX-5,’ said Mazda President and CEO, Masahiro Moro. ‘We are determined in the age of electrification to keep the joy of driving which the MX-5 represents alive, and the Mazda Iconic SP, with its dual rotary power generator EV powertrain is our dream solution. A dream we will work hard to launch. Mazda will always deliver vehicles that remind people that cars are pure joy and an indispensable part of their lives.’

By Curtis Moldrich

CAR's Digital Editor, F1 and sim-racing enthusiast. Partial to clever tech and sports bikes