Mazda had presented at the Tokyo Motor Show in 1995, the Mazda RX-01, which was the proposal of the Japanese company for the next generation of the Mazda RX-7.
Mechanically the RX-01 was equipped with a 1.3 liter Wankel rotary engine that produced 220 hp, mounted in the front, however, due to its compact size, the engine was able to be placed further back and down, giving the car a better weight distribution.
The design of the RX-01 had flowing lines and rounded curves, thin LED headlights and an integrated front spoiler, which helped to increase the vertical force on the front axle and also helped to funnel air to the engine.
The interior of the prototype had four seats, although the rear ones were small and nearly unusable. The seats and center console were dressed in black leather with red accents for contrast. Eventually, the Mazda RX-01 did not pass in production, however it paved the way for the Mazda RX-Evolv concept, which eventually turned into the Mazda RX-8.