The patents were filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office, and were found by AutoEvolution. The original application was made by Mazda on October 20, 2016, and approved March 24, 2017, before being published late last month.
The patent diagrams detail a new retractable wing design, which in the lowered position bisects the tail-light clusters. When required, the wing automatically moves out and up to provide extra levels of downforce.
Intriguingly, the tail-light design resembles the units fitted to the 2015 RX-Vision concept car, which was widely rumoured to be a preview of a new rotary engine-powered coupe.
The remainder of the sketched vehicle used for the design patent looks to have a closer relationship with the current MX-5, albeit one with new, and rather ungainly, fixed roof design.
It's not known when Mazda will employ its newly patented retractable wing in a concept car or production vehicle. Last month, the company confirmed it would launch a new rotary-powered concept car at the 2017 Tokyo motor show, which kicks off later this month.
Although some publications are speculating the vehicle in patent filing could hint at the upcoming concept or a future production car, it's just as likely the odd looking contraption was sketched up to give nothing away about the company's future model plans.