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Birth of an icon: Part two

3 years ago

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Peter Robinson | Journalist


3 September 2021

One of the Japan studio’s concepts was for a mid-engined car. Shortly after the management review process was over, everyone attended the 1985 Tokyo motor show where Toyota revealed the mid-engined MR2.

Admits Hall, ‘Everyone at Mazda couldn’t help but think how lucky it was that we had decided to go with a front-engined, rear-drive sports car instead of a mid-engined design. The overhangs and some proportions of our mid-engined proposal were different, but the overall concept would have been much the same.

‘Our car was scheduled to come out a few years later and it would have looked like we copied Toyota. Luckily there was a race to see which of three internal development projects would come out first. The roadster, an MPV mini-van, or a tiny little 550cc mid-rear-engined domestic market car. This car never made it to market. The MPV got the nod ahead of our sports car, which delayed us a bit.

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