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January 13, 2024

Is Mazda Bringing Back An In-House Tuner In Mazda Spirit Racing?

Is Mazda reviving an in-house tuning arm? That looks to be the case if we were to look at what’s going on at the 2024 Tokyo Auto Salon.

Before, there was Mazdaspeed—a company that was a grassroots racing team (known then as Mazda Sports Corner) turned performance parts and accessories provider. But with Mazdaspeed in hibernation since 2013, its future was put in doubt.

Now, as the brand moves to a more premium space, it looks like Mazdaspeed will be bidding farewell for Mazda Spirit Racing.

Heading Mazda Spirit Racing is Ikuo Maeda who confirmed that this year, the brand will combine Mazda’s motorsports initiatives and will develop complete cars as well. At the 2024 Tokyo Auto Salon, Mazda unveiled two special edition models which they have confirmed as being “under development.”

Both models embody the values of Mazda Spirit Racing which are concerned with “Speed” and “Texture.”

The first is the Mazda Spirit Racing RS concept. Using the latest Mazda MX-5 (in the new Aero Gray, no less) as basis, it gets a wrap-around aero kit, high-gloss 17-inch alloy wheels, and a larger, single exit muffler. Various graphics complete the exterior changes. Inside, there’s Ultrasuede abound from the lower dashboard, shifter, hand brake, and steering wheel (with a red center position indicator). The Ultrasuede Recaro racing bucket seats also have four-point harnesses.

Meanwhile, the Mazda3 gets the same treatment. The Ceramic Metallic colored compact hatchback rides on high-gloss alloy wheels with the same design pattern found on the Mazda Spirit Racing RS concept. A full-blown aero kit with a big roof-mounted spoiler and various graphics completes the changes.

Don’t expect any more power on these two models though, but Mazda Spirit Racing has confirmed that they will get a modified suspension that produces better controllability, especially on the race track while remaining comfortable for everyday life.

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