The first idea of the AZ-1 dates from 1985. Limited of budget and capacity it Mazda was late to compete with the Honda Beat and Suzuki Cappuccino. A hard job because both cars were well designed cars. They combined the best elements of its rivals in one design and add something special. So Mazda continued the early Suzuki designs and made three prototypes.The result midengine, gullwing doors based on Suzuki technique. Mazda showed with its AZ-1 that a coupe with folding doors does not have to be called "SL", that it does not have to come from Stuttgart and that it still be beautiful, despite its 130 inches (329,5 cm) in length.