My Car Quest

March 2, 2024

Design Critique: Mazda Concept Car

by Wallace Wyss –

Last year Mazda revealed a new concept car called the Mazda Iconic SP that seems mostly to promote the plan to bring back the rotary engine but this time not driving the wheels but only to power an electric motor. It wouldn’t use gasoline but hydrogen, or some other carbon-neutral fuel. They installed it in this concept, which is a sports car with a low center of gravity where they put the engine where it could have perfect 50:50 weight distribution with the handling that provides more driving pleasure.

Mazda Iconic SP

They say they are a car-loving company and this design shows influence of Alfa Romeo and many other European cars.

Here’s my opinion on the concept:

REAR Bravo the wide spacing of taillights make it look wider than it is. But merging the taillights together makes me dizzy.

Mazda Iconic SP

SIDE Very dramatic rear fender flaring and roofline shape. Can’t see how a targa would look on that roof. Needs a front fender vent, cut in, not just tacked on, though ironically tiny rotary might not need that much venting.

Mazda Iconic SP

FRONT Grille cavity good but confusing. Inner grille surround need to be chrome or eliminated. Headlights remind you of original Miata turn signals, need more prominence, they look weak.

Mazda Iconic SP

INTERIOR Minimalistic approach. There is a simple three-spoke steering wheel with a digital screen behind it and another small screen to the right of it. There are four switches on the center tunnel that that remind you of a gated manual shifter.

Mazda Iconic SP

IN SUM, I feel cheated as the size is now a perfect sports car. But it weighs 3000 lbs. so they want to shrink it down. Why? We need a full size MX-5, not a “junior” model…

Mazda Iconic SP

Let us know what you think in the Comments.

Wallace Wyss art

THE AUTHOR Wallace Wyss comments on car design on KUCR FM radio from Riverside, CA.


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Photos compliments of Mazda.

Design Critique: Mazda Concept Car
Article Name
Design Critique: Mazda Concept Car
Last year Mazda revealed a new concept car called the Mazda Iconic SP.


  1. Mike Stellato says

    Car looks “styled” but not “designed”. Ever sense the Corvette, high bulges over the front wheels have been a design cue……and not a good one. considering visibility and road conditions. The Honda S2000 figured it out…lowered the bulges to the wheel travel, and had a good overall design. This Mazda is a throw-back to the Bulge. Rear wheel flair is a bit too much, also. Front grill looks like pursed lips.

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