Mazda revives a 40-year-old concept

Mazda revives a 40-year-old concept

May 2, 2021 0 By autotimesnews

Mazda has restored the MX-81 concept, which was the first car in the brand to receive the MX designation.

This was reported by the press service of the manufacturer. In the history of Mazda there are many cars bearing the MX designation, but not many people know that the MX-81 concept hatchback, created by the famous Italian body shop Bertone for the 1981 Tokyo Auto Show, was the first to receive it.

In 1981, Mazda hired the Italian studio Bertone to develop a promising model. The project, designated the MX-81 Aria, became the adornment of the company’s booth at the 1981 “home” auto show in Tokyo.

Mazda 323 units and assemblies were used in the design of the car, but the exterior and interior design had nothing to do with the production model. The concept was driven by a 1.5-liter engine with a capacity of about 130 forces.

After the exhibition, the futuristic concept went to the Mazda warehouse, where it gathered dust until recently, narrowly escaping the sad fate of most concepts. Quite by accident, Nobuhiro Yamamoto, one of the creators of the fourth generation of the MX-5 roadster and the developer of rotary motors, stumbled upon it. He came up with the idea to send the car for restoration.

As a result, the MX-81 was shipped to Mazda Italy, and then to the Turin company SuperStile Srl, which was entrusted with the restoration of the concept. The concept brought back to life will take its rightful place in the collection of the company’s branded museum in Hiroshima.

The MX-81 concept was the ancestor of a whole series of prototypes. In 1983, the MX-02 5-door hatchback was released. The car had a large glass area, closed rear wheel arches, large flat body panels, a projection screen and steering rear wheels.

In 1985, the MX-03 concept debuted. The stylish, streamlined coupe had a Cd drag coefficient of 0.25. The car was equipped with four-wheel drive, fully steerable chassis, three-section rotary engine and a digital instrument panel.

Two years later, the MX-04 concept debuted at the Tokyo Auto Show. The car received a classic layout with an engine in front and driving rear wheels. But the main “feature” of the model was a transformable fiberglass body. Through simple manipulations, the coupe turned into a buggy open to all the winds.

Well, the first production car to receive the MX designation was the iconic Mazda MX-5 Miata roadster, which debuted in 1989.