Mazda trademarks new ‘R’ logo in Japan – is the Spirit R making a comeback?

The letter ‘R’ is pretty much the de-facto designation for cars that are a slightly more fun than usual – Type R, Rennsport, Racing, you name it. But for Mazda, the letter ‘R’ is quite a bit more special than just that, because in this case, R also means rotary.

And that is why when Mazda submits a trademark application for a new ‘R’ logo, you better bet damn sure that its hardcore fans would notice it right away, and start cranking the rumour mill into high gear.

Interestingly, the new logo was actually discovered by a member at the “New Nissan Z” online forums. It seems like even the Nissan-faithful are excited by the prospect of a new performance Mazda model!

The new ‘R’ logo is formed by four individual elements in grey and red, which together forms a negative space image of a stylised ‘R’ – much like how the empty space in the old Formula 1 logo has the number ‘1’ in between the flags.

And we might be reading too much into this, perhaps even reaching into wish-casting territory, but doesn’t the highlighted red triangle remind you of the Reuleaux triangle inside a Wankel engine?

Could the new R logo takeover the now-defunct Mazda MPS/Mazdaspeed brand? Read more about the brand’s performance department here.

Mazda’s rotary engine plans is not a secret any more. The company has already officially confirmed the rotary engine range-extender powertrain for the MX-30 EV SUV (which has since been delayed), but of course, being enthusiasts, we all want to believe that a properly-designed logo means something more than just a range-extender.

Many online are also pointing to its similarities to the Spirit R logo that was previously used on the RX-7 and RX-8 sports cars, theorising that we could once again see a Spirit R model, perhaps for the Mazda MX-5. Although, the beloved Miata isn’t actually a rotary-engined car, so we’re not sure if this rationale actually holds any water.

Even the Mazda MX-5 will be electrified in the near future. Read more about it here.

It would certainly be fitting, though, perhaps as a final swansong to the internal combustion engine before the inevitable takeover by the electrified powertrains.

There are so many possibilities, and all of them seen to make at least a bit of sense. But which of these, if any, will actually come true? Only time will tell, but we sure hope that it’ll be something fun. Let us know what you think in the comments below!


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