What could the name be used on, if anything at all?

The Hiroshima-based car maker has filed a trademark application for the Mazda MX-6 name in its homeland.

AutoGuide found the application for use on "automobiles and parts and accessories thereof" at the Japanese Patent Office's website, and a copy of it can be seen on the EU's European Trade Mark and Design Network.

As always with these type of stories, we have to issue our standard caveat: a trademark application isn't conclusive proof the company plans to launch a product with that name.

With the global drop-off in demand for two-door coupes, it seems unlikely the company will go back to the future with a sporty coupe. Even if it does, a closed-roof version of the MX-5 or a rotary-powered RX model are far more likely. It should be noted the company has confirmed no work has begun on a RX-8 successor.

A more likely possibility — at least in the mind of this writer — is the company's upcoming all-electric vehicle.

Mazda recently confirmed it will be a standalone car, not a variant of a variant of an existing model. Given the letters MX stand for "Mazda Experimental", the MX-6 name begins to make sense.

While other automakers are investing sizeable chunks of their R&D money on electric models, Mazda believes internal combustion still has a long future ahead of it.

Starting in 1987, the Mazda MX-6 was produced over 10 years and two generations, both sharing its underpinnings with the contemporary 626.

While the first-generation model looked like a two-door 626, the second-generation (above) had its own unique style. Available with a 2.5-litre V6, the second-generation model also gave rise to the unfortunately named Ford Probe.

What do you think? Where might Mazda end up using the MX-6 name, if at all? Let us know in the comments section below.