It’s always fascinating to spend time in the company of Mazda, not least for its more nuanced view on the world and its way of doing things differently.

The latest example came at the Tokyo motor show (Japan Mobility Show) this week – easily the best motor show the world has had since the pandemic – where Mazda stood alone in not revealing a battery-electric vehicle but instead a rotary-powered electric range-extender in a concept that previews the Mazda MX-5 of the future. 

Mazda CFO Jeff Guyton calls Mazda an “intentional follower” as a small car maker who sells in more than 130 markets, with different regulations for many of them.

When it has done EVs, it has of course done them differently, Mazda’s first EV being the Mazda MX-30 that intentionally had a smaller battery of 35kWh because Mazda felt that still provided the range people actually needed rather than what they wanted, the latter figure always higher.