The 1993 Mazda HR-X 2 Was One of the Ugliest Concept Cars

 |  |  |  |  |  | 

Written by Paul Strauss | February 13, 2024
The 1993 Mazda HR-X 2 Was One of the Ugliest Concept Cars

Car companies show off concept designs to get buyers excited about the future state of their design and technology. Most of today’s concept cars are sleek and aerodynamic and feature appealing traits like oversized wheels, suicide doors, a yoke steering wheel, and cameras in place of side mirrors. Back in the 1990s, concept cars weren’t quite as appealing. For example, the 1993 Mazda HR-X 2. This concept car was anything but beautiful, with a strangely bubbly front end, a boxy but rounded rear end, and a diminutive trunk. Why they didn’t make this thing a hatchback is anyone’s guess.

1993 Mazda HR-X 2 Concept

The subcompact 2-door, 4-seater was a follow-up to Mazda’s even uglier HR-X concept. The HR-X2 avoided sharp corners – a hallmark of 1990s automotive design. It measured 168.9″ long, 66.9″ wide, and 56.1″ high, about the same width and a foot longer than a 1992 MX-5 Miata. If you thought the exterior was something to behold, get a load of the interior.

The paint-patterned fabric on the seats, dashboard, doors, and steering wheel is reminiscent of the iconically tacky Jazz pattern found on Sweetheart cups in the same decade. With no center console taking up foot space, the gear shifter was mounted to the left of the steering wheel, and a small multimedia controller projected between the front seats like a flattened blue phallus.

1993 Mazda HR-X 2 Concept Interior

The bubbly little car served as a showcase for Mazda’s prototype hydrogen-powered Wankel rotary engine. This small, twin-rotor power plant produced 130 horsepower and 123 lb-ft. of torque. Unlike modern hydrogen-powered cars, the HR-X 2 was a combustion hydrogen engine. This engine was certainly the most interesting part of the vehicle. Mazda said the rotary engine was well suited to burning hydrogen because it was less likely to backfire than conventional engines. The automaker would later test hydrogen rotary engines in a customized MX-5 and a Capella Cargo station wagon, but never put it into production.

1993 Mazda HR-X 2 Hydrogen Engine

Mercifully, nothing from the design of the HR-X 2 made it into production, but the prototype was preserved. From what I can tell, it was last on display in 2008 in an exhibit of hydrogen-rotary vehicles at the Mazda Museum at the company’s Hiroshima, Japan headquarters.

1993 Mazda HR-X 2 Concept Driving

[via The 24 Hours of Lemons and Car Styling]

Home | About Us | Suggest | Contact Us | Links | Privacy | Disclosure

© 2013-2024 Awesomer Media

Cool Cars: 95Octane | Awesome Stuff: The Awesomer