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Fighting spirit

Fighting spirit

Botchi Santos

Mazda Spirit Racing Concept cars unveiled at Tokyo Auto Salon


Forged RAYS Volk Racing wheels, and massive Brembo brakes, paired with specially tuned, lower and firmer suspension



Despite being a performance icon focused on enthusiast drivers, Mazda has long been absent in the high-performance business. All that is about to change, however, as Mazda unveiled its Mazda Spirit Racing sub-brand at the 41st Tokyo Auto Salon 2024 held over the weekend at Makuhari Messe in Chiba, Japan. Two models were presented, the Spirit Racing RS Concept and the Spirit Racing 3 Concept.

The launch venue was fitting as Tokyo Auto Salon is considered one of the big three aftermarket, tuning, customization, and motorsports shows in the world, alongside SEMA in the United States, and Essen Motorshow in Essen, Germany. The Mazda Spirit Racing brand has been competing in the Japanese Siper Taikyu Series, a production-car based endurance racing event that features production cars with limited modifications, mainly focusing on safety and reliability, since 2021.

The launch of the sub-brand to consumers signifies Mazda’s intent to once again offer complete high-performance cars, parts and accessories geared toward track and competition use, much like Gazoo Racing is to Toyota, and NISMO to Nissan. It is essentially a newer version of Mazdaspeed, a sub-brand Mazda abandoned as it moved towards creating premium cars. This re-boot of performance models, which we hope gets the green light, further ignites passion among the hearts of enthusiasts wanting a piece of JDM performance in a premium Japanese car, the way only Mazda delivers it. And we hope that beyond the MX-5 Global Cup Car, we’ll see factory prepares turn-key Mazda 3 race cars for individual enthusiasts who want to compete at the grassroots level, long a bastion of Mazda through its older MX-5 race cars.

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Both Spirit Racing concept cars get a subtly aggressive body kit, forged RAYS Volk Racing wheels, and massive Brembo brakes, paired with specially tuned, lower and firmer suspension. The Mazda 3 Spirit Racing concept gets an equally aggressive rear wing to finish the rear and a very pronounced Schumacher-esque front chin spoiler. The powertrain remains stock, for now, although the MX-5 gets a large single exhaust tip instead of the small and subtle twin tip, while the 3 also gets larger dual exhaust tips, as well. Inside, both get RECARO bucket seats and a sightline on the 3-spoke steering wheel. The MX-5 is all body hugging Alcantara from its fixed back bucket seats, while the 3 utilizes a combination of Alcantara and leather for its bucket seats. Red accents are present on both interior and exterior, and black trim replaces chrome, signifying its sporting intent.

No other details were released but it’s a very promising sign for performance, tuning, modifying and motorsports enthusiasts of a new generation of Mazda owners and drivers. The signs are clear, exciting times ahead for Mazda.