Mazda design has been one hit after another lately, topped with the magnetically attractive RX-Vision rotary-engined concept that debuted at last year’s Tokyo Motor Show. There’s a good reason the sultry coupe looks so good—Mazda based the design on two of the best looking vintage Ferraris.

Speaking to Top Gear Magazine about the RX-Vision on display at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa D’Este in Italy, Mazda’s design director Kevin Rice revealed the inspiration for the gorgeous coupe:

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“If you look at the Ferrari 275 GTB or the Ferrari 330, and all those Italian cars through the late 50s, 60s and 70s, they were very pure, very clean and very exciting,” explains Mazda’s design director, Kevin Rice.

“That was the philosophy of Italian design. The modern world is busier and more exciting, but we respect those values of purity and beauty. They were valid then, and – if nobody else wants to do it – we want to resurrect those values,” he adds.

Ferrari 275 GTB, RM Auctions
Ferrari 330 GTC, RM Auctions
Mazda

Looking at the two specific cars mentioned by Rice, the adoption of the vintage Ferrari design of clean, smooth features translates well with Mazda’s current Koda design language making a coupe that, I think, bests almost anything currently for sale from Ferrari or anybody else.

In the Top Gear interview, Rice goes on to say how bringing the car to an event with Ferraris, Bugattis, Zagato-worked Aston Martins and other glamorous marque designs made him feel out of place until the response of the Villa visitors was so positive.

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“But everyone is telling us that it doesn’t matter, because the RX is so beautiful. They say ‘don’t worry about anything, just go and build it’,” he adds.

He goes on to assure us all that the rotary is not dead at Mazda (as we recently learned), promising that, “when the world’s ready to buy another rotary, we’ll be ready to provide it.”

I’m ready, and waiting.