Tastefully modified factory Mazdas are coming back

In the past few years, Mazda’s been known for making driver-focused cars but never really had a performance division that’s similar to what Toyota is doing with Gazoo Racing and Nissan with NISMO.

Back then, they had Mazdaspeed that enhanced both the style and performance of their vehicles such as past generations of the MX-5 Miata, RX-7, RX-8, and even their passenger vehicles like the 323, Mazda3, and Mazda6.

Mazda Spirit Racing wants to be known as new Mazdaspeed image

But during the 2024 Tokyo Auto Salon, a spiritual successor to Mazdaspeed has been introduced and will change things up for Mazda and its current vehicle lineup. They call it Mazda Spirit Racing, and it will be known as the new performance arm of the Japanese manufacturer.

Mazda Spirit Racing only revealed concepts of the MX-5 and the 3, but it’s enough to showcase what the performance arm could offer in the future. For the MX-5, they have the Mazda Spirit Racing RS that came with a tastefully designed front splitter and side skirt, along with red accent tabs found on the bumper and the black-painted side mirrors, as well as Volk Racing TE37 wheels wrapped in Bridgestone tires.

Mazda Spirit Racing wants to be known as new Mazdaspeed image

The Mazda Spirit Racing RS also features some track-focused upgrades inside. The car came equipped with Recaro bucket seats and harnesses, plus a combination of suede, Alcantara, and red stitching on various parts of the cabin.

In terms of performance, Mazda Spirit Racing seems to lean towards giving better handling than higher top speed, as the RS did not come with any engine upgrades apart from a new exhaust. But for its suspension and brakes, the lower ride height suggests stiffer springs while the bigger Brembo brakes provide better stopping power.

Mazda Spirit Racing wants to be known as new Mazdaspeed image

Meanwhile, the Mazda Spirit Racing 3 Concept follows the same development path as the RS Concept. It features bodywork enhancements with a front chin splitter, enlarged side skirts, and an aggressive rear spoiler made of carbon fiber. Much like the MX-5, the Mazda Spirit Racing 3 Concept gets its own set of TE37s, and wears the same light gray paint with black Mazda Spirit Racing decals.

Mazda Spirit Racing wants to be known as new Mazdaspeed image

Mazda Spirit Racing intends to roll out track-focused cars developed from the lessons learned in Mazda’s participation in the Super Taikyu series. As we all know, most production cars developed through motorsports have turned out great, and we can’t help but be excited for what’s coming soon for Mazda and its Spirit Racing brand.