Is this another sign of a revived rotary-engined coupe hero, or does Mazda have another trick up its sleeve?
Documents filled with both the United States Patent and Trademark Office and the European Patent Office suggest that Mazda may be gearing up to introduce a coupe of some description to its range – though what the model might be remains a mystery.
The filings, uncovered by CarBuzz, focus specifically on the door design and mechanism of a potential Mazda two-door model. Beyond that it’s not entirely clear how this might translate into a potential production model, if at all.
However, the timing does lend some strength to a possible return of a rotary-powered halo car for the brand, following on from a similar filing which not only covered a potential three-rotor engine and hybrid system, but also elements of a two-door body for the drivetrain to run in.
In this latest instance the filing refers to “a pair of doors attached to both sides of the vehicle body” while the diagrams reveal what appears to be a frameless door upper – allowing the installation of a frameless window, a typical coupe styling feature.
Also illustrated in the door detail images, a stepped-back glass and rounded off door trailing edge. Both elements can be found on the Mazda RX-Vision concept (pictured below) lending some weight to the theory this latest filing points to a production version of that vehicle.
The filings appear to show a gas ram-style door check strap, a feature more often found in prestige cars. This more costly and complex set-up points to a halo car, rather than something like a more cost-conscious MX-5.
Although CarBuzz speculates a Mazda 3 two-door could be one of the eventual products, automotive brands are pulling away from small car-based coupes, with rivals like the Kia Cerato coupe and Honda Civic coupe both disappearing in their most recent generations.
The more likely explanation is that the Mazda 3 is used purely as a basis for the diagrammatic representation of the filing – a not uncommon practice for trademark and intellectual property filings.
Further driving forward the possibility of a more dedicated coupe model is the mention of a “door window (which is not only glass-made but reinforced plastic-made)” suggesting the use of lightweight, high-strength material. The use of polycarbonate in place of glass isn’t unusual in the world of motorsport – but can comes with disadvantages filtering out noise and vibration, suggesting this solution may not be for the masses.
As with any patent office filing, there’s no guarantee Mazda has plans to put these designs into production. Some filings exist for products and technologies in development, and others to cut rivals off at the chase to protect Mazda’s intellectual property.
This newest info, combined with the recent rotary coupe patent office filing, do suggest that if nothing else, Mazda has performance coupes firmly in mind.