Mazda Patent Shows Novel Active Spoiler Design That May Already Be On The RX-Vision Concept

A Mazda patent dated Sept. 28 describes an interesting design for an active rear spoiler, a design different than what we’ve seen on cars before, but also strangely similar-looking to a design detail on Mazda’s 2015 RX-Vision rotary concept. Was that always the plan, and we’re just finding out about it now?

We’re certainly not the only ones to come to this conclusion, because when you look at the patent drawings, they do seem an awful lot like the taillight assemblies used on the RX-Vision concept.


The images of the overall car, though, are much more excitingly weird, like a Miata crossed with a mid-’50s Corvette.

Essentially, the patent is for a full-width spoiler that would rest in a position where it partially bisects the taillights on either side, and when deployed would move rearward and upward to its required position to help the car’s aero the most.


So, down, it becomes a sort of design element at the rear of the car and in the taillights, and deploys out and up to act as a spoiler. To hear this described in patent-ese is really something, though. Here’s how the patent text describes it:

[0002] There is a case that a rear spoiler is provided at the rear of a vehicle. Generally, such a rear spoiler is, like the rear structure of a vehicle exemplified in Patent Literature 1, arranged on an upper surface at the rear of a vehicle in order to perform rectification at the time of traveling.

[0003] However, when a rear spoiler is arranged at a position at which a rear lamp such as a tail light is vertically partitioned in terms of realizing an intended fine view and the layouts of in-vehicle accessories, there is a problem in that aerodynamic performance cannot be secured since the entire rear spoiler is lowered. Accordingly, it is desired that this point be improved. Note that the above Patent Literature 1 does not seem to pay attention to such a problem and describe a specific configuration to achieve both the realization of an intended fine view and the securement of aerodynamic performance.


What the fuck did I just read? “A tail light is vertically partitioned in terms of realizing an intended fine view and the layouts of in-vehicle accessories?” What the hell does that even mean? Fine view? A taillight’s vertical partitioning accessories? What?


Wait, there’s another summary here that should clear this all up:

[0005] The present invention has an object of realizing a design to arrange a rectifying member so as to vertically partition a rear lamp such as a tail light and achieving both the securement of design flexibility and the securement of aerodynamic performance.

[0006] Further, the present invention includes: a rear lamp provided at rear of a vehicle; and a rectifying member extending from a center in a vehicle width direction to an outer side in a right and left direction, wherein the rectifying member includes an outer part positioned on an outside in the vehicle width direction and a central part positioned on the center in the vehicle width direction, the outer part partitions the rear lamp in at least a vertical direction of the vehicle, and an upper surface of the central part extends further toward an upper side of the vehicle than the rear lamp in the vehicle width direction.


Ow. Brain hurt.

Look, we get it. It’s an active spoiler, and intersects the taillights when lowered. That seems to be it! It’s a nice design, sure, and I bet we’ll see it in action in Mazda’s next RX concept car, even.


I wonder if they could make the left and right edges of the spoiler out of a translucent material that would allow the taillight’s light to pass through? Or, maybe better, put some LEDs in there to duplicate the taillight functions?


It’s a cool spoiler design but, man, patent copy is the worst.

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Jason Torchinsky

Senior Editor, Jalopnik • Running: 1973 VW Beetle, 2006 Scion xB, 1990 Nissan Pao, 1991 Yugo GV Plus • Not-so-running: 1973 Reliant Scimitar, 1977 Dodge Tioga RV (also, buy my book!)