Mazda RX-8
Overview
 
The Mazda RX-8 is a sports car
Sports car
A sports car is a small, usually two seat, two door automobile designed for high speed driving and maneuverability....

 manufactured by Mazda Motor Corporation
Mazda
is a Japanese automotive manufacturer based in Fuchū, Aki District, Hiroshima Prefecture, Japan.In 2007, Mazda produced almost 1.3 million vehicles for global sales...

. It first appeared in 2001 at the North American International Auto Show
North American International Auto Show
The North American International Auto Show is an annual auto show held in Detroit, Michigan at Cobo Center, usually in January. It is among the largest auto shows in North America.-History:...

. It is the successor to the RX-7
Mazda RX-7
Series 1 is commonly referred to as the "SA22C" from the first alphanumerics of the vehicle identification number. This series of RX-7 had exposed steel bumpers and a high-mounted indentation-located license plate, called by Werner Buhrer of Road & Track magazine a "Baroque depression."In 1980...

 and, like its predecessors in the RX range, it is powered by a Wankel engine
Mazda Wankel engine
The Mazda Wankel engines are family of car engines derived from experiments in the early 1960s by Felix Wankel, a German engineer...

. The RX-8 began North America
North America
North America is a continent wholly within the Northern Hemisphere and almost wholly within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas...

n sales in the 2004 model year. Mazda announced on August 23, 2011, that RX-8 will be discontinued from production citing the 2011 model as the last line of production. The RX-8 from the European market was removed last year after the car failed to meet local emissions standards.
Encyclopedia
The Mazda RX-8 is a sports car
Sports car
A sports car is a small, usually two seat, two door automobile designed for high speed driving and maneuverability....

 manufactured by Mazda Motor Corporation
Mazda
is a Japanese automotive manufacturer based in Fuchū, Aki District, Hiroshima Prefecture, Japan.In 2007, Mazda produced almost 1.3 million vehicles for global sales...

. It first appeared in 2001 at the North American International Auto Show
North American International Auto Show
The North American International Auto Show is an annual auto show held in Detroit, Michigan at Cobo Center, usually in January. It is among the largest auto shows in North America.-History:...

. It is the successor to the RX-7
Mazda RX-7
Series 1 is commonly referred to as the "SA22C" from the first alphanumerics of the vehicle identification number. This series of RX-7 had exposed steel bumpers and a high-mounted indentation-located license plate, called by Werner Buhrer of Road & Track magazine a "Baroque depression."In 1980...

 and, like its predecessors in the RX range, it is powered by a Wankel engine
Mazda Wankel engine
The Mazda Wankel engines are family of car engines derived from experiments in the early 1960s by Felix Wankel, a German engineer...

. The RX-8 began North America
North America
North America is a continent wholly within the Northern Hemisphere and almost wholly within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas...

n sales in the 2004 model year. Mazda announced on August 23, 2011, that RX-8 will be discontinued from production citing the 2011 model as the last line of production. The RX-8 from the European market was removed last year after the car failed to meet local emissions standards. Without volume from Europe & rising Yen prices, Mazda couldn't continue to justify the continued sale of the RX-8 in its other markets including North America.

Background

Mazda introduced rotary engine vehicles in the US in 1971, beginning with the RX-2
Mazda RX-2
The Mazda RX-2 was a midsize car introduced in 1970 and sold through 1978. It used a rotary engine and shared a chassis with the piston-engined Mazda Capella/616/618....

, RX-3
Mazda RX-3
The Mazda RX-3 is an automobile sold in the 1970s. It was intended to be smaller and sportier than its brother, the RX-2/Capella Rotary. In 1972 all rotary engines had their die-cast rotor housing coated with a new process: The new Transplant Coating Process featured sprayed-on steel which is...

, RX-4
Mazda RX-4
The Mazda RX-4 is an automobile sold in the 1970s. It was a larger car than its rotary-powered contemporaries, the Capella-based RX-2 and Familia-based RX-3. It shared the Luce/929 chassis, replacing the R130 in October 1972, and was produced through October 1977...

, RX-5, and finally three generations of the RX-7
Mazda RX-7
Series 1 is commonly referred to as the "SA22C" from the first alphanumerics of the vehicle identification number. This series of RX-7 had exposed steel bumpers and a high-mounted indentation-located license plate, called by Werner Buhrer of Road & Track magazine a "Baroque depression."In 1980...

 sports car. However, the lack of creature comfort and user-friendliness, coupled with the high price tag and declining interest in sports cars and coupes at this time, led Mazda to pull the RX-7 from most major markets except Japan. After 1995, Mazda suffered from a relatively undistinguished product line in the US save the MX-5 Miata
Mazda MX-5
The MX-5, also known as Miata in North America and Eunos Roadster in Japan, is a lightweight two-seater roadster, of front-engine, rear-wheel drive layout, built by Mazda in Hiroshima, Japan. The model was introduced in 1989 at the Chicago Auto Show...

. As popular interest in import tuning and performance cars resurged in the late-1990s, thanks in part to various popular cultural influences such as the Sony PlayStation video game Gran Turismo , Japanese automakers waded back into the performance and sports car market in the US. In addition, Mazda endeavored to rejuvenate itself around this time, partially with financial and management assistance from Ford, and successfully developed a new product line of high quality cars with desirable styling and superior driving dynamics, beginning with the Mazda6 and followed by the Mazda3, paving way for the arrival for Mazda's next-generation rotary sports car.

Development and design

Development of the RX-8 can be traced to as far back as the 1995 Mazda RX-01
Mazda RX-01
Mazda RX-01 is a concept car produced by Mazda Motor Corporation that debuted at the 1995 Tokyo Motor Show. Created partially in response to the state of the economy at the time and the resultant shrinkage of the high-end sports car market, the RX-01 undertook a back-to-basics approach of a...

 concept car, which featured an early iteration of the 13B-MSP engine. Naturally aspirated with side exhaust ports, this engine produced 210 hp. As prohibited by Mazda's financial state at the time and the growing market interest in SUVs, the RX-01 never saw further development or production. However, a "skunkworks project
Skunkworks project
A skunkworks project is one typically developed by a small and loosely structured group of people who research and develop a project primarily for the sake of radical innovation. The term typically refers to technology projects, and originated with Skunk Works, an official alias for the Lockheed...

" engineering team within Mazda kept the development of the 13B-MSP alive using MX-5 Miata chassis, eventually catching the attention of management, which at this time had come under heavy influence from Ford. Development of the 13B-MSP advanced and eventually led to the RENESIS moniker debuting along with the RX-EVOLV concept car which began to bear semblance to the production RX-8 with the "freestyle" rear suicide doors. Styling was developed via design competitions in Mazda tradition among its design studios in Japan, the US, and Europe. The project obtained official approval from management, and eventually the RX-8 concept car (design/engineering model) was produced and shown in 2001, closer resembling the production version. A near-production "reference exhibit" RX-8 was shown shortly thereafter at the 2001 Tokyo Motor Show, pending final approval for production. Production RX-8 closely resembles this vehicle save for minor trim details, and "job 1" began in February 2003 at Mazda's Hiroshima plant in Japan.

The RX-8 was designed as a front mid-engine, rear-wheel drive four-seat four-door coupé
Coupé
A coupé or coupe is a closed car body style , the precise definition of which varies from manufacturer to manufacturer, and over time...

. The car has 50:50 front-rear weight distribution, and a low Polar Moment
Polar moment of inertia
Polar moment of inertia is a quantity used to predict an object's ability to resist torsion, in objects with an invariant circular cross section and no significant warping or out-of-plane deformation. It is used to calculate the angular displacement of an object subjected to a torque...

 that is achieved by mounting the engine behind the front axle and the fuel tank ahead of the rear axle. The front wheels feature classic independent double wishbone suspension, while the rear are independent multi-link
Multi-link suspension
A multi-link suspension is a type of vehicle suspension design typically used in independent suspensions, using three or more lateral arms, and one or more longitudinal arms....

. Weight is trimmed through the use of materials such as aluminium
Aluminium
Aluminium or aluminum is a silvery white member of the boron group of chemical elements. It has the symbol Al, and its atomic number is 13. It is not soluble in water under normal circumstances....

 and plastic for several body panels. The rest of the body is steel, save for the plastic front and rear bumpers. The manual gearbox model uses a carbon fiber
Carbon fiber
Carbon fiber, alternatively graphite fiber, carbon graphite or CF, is a material consisting of fibers about 5–10 μm in diameter and composed mostly of carbon atoms. The carbon atoms are bonded together in crystals that are more or less aligned parallel to the long axis of the fiber...

 composite driveshaft to reduce the rotational mass (moment of inertia) connected to the engine. Power is sent to the rear wheels via a Torsen
Torsen
Torsen is a type of differential used in automobiles. It was invented by American Vernon Gleasman and manufactured by the Gleason Corporation. Torsen is a contraction of Torque-Sensing...

 limited slip differential
Limited slip differential
A limited slip differential is a type of differential gear arrangement that allows for some difference in angular velocity of the output shafts, but imposes a mechanical bound on the disparity...

 for improved handling. While its not quite in the league as the last RX-7 in terms of raw performance, the RX-8 is considered its successor as Mazda's rotary engine sports car. Its layout and clever engineering, along with typical Mazda suspension tuning, have endowed it with excellent driving dynamics which have garnered much praise and numerous awards. It has also proven popular in Japan among car enthusiasts as well as aftermarket equipment manufacturers and professional tuners.

A prominent feature of the RX-8 is a pair of rear-hinged "freestyle" doors (similar to suicide door
Suicide door
A suicide door is a car door hinged on the trailing edge, the edge closer to the rear of the vehicle. Such doors are rarely used on vehicles in modern times because of their disadvantages....

s) in order to provide easier access to the rear seats. The RX-8 has no B-pillar
Pillar (car)
Pillars are the vertical supports of the greenhouse of an automobile — known respectively as the A, B, C or D-pillar moving in profile view from the front to rear....

 between the front and rear doors, with the leading edge of the rear door acting as a "virtual pillar" to maintain structural rigidity. Because of the overlapping design, the rear doors can be opened only when the front doors are open. Although by no means expansive, the RX-8's cabin was designed to allow enough room to house four adults, making it a genuine 4-seater rather than a 2+2.

The RX-8 was sold on exports markets including in Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

, whereas the RX-7 had been withdrawn from these markets after 1996 due to falling sales and thereafter only sold in Japan.

2003–2008

The first version of the RX-8, chassis code SE3P, and JMZSE, was produced from model year 2003. It is powered by the RENESIS 13B-MSP (multi side port) Wankel 654x2 rotary engine
Wankel engine
The Wankel engine is a type of internal combustion engine using an eccentric rotary design to convert pressure into a rotating motion instead of using reciprocating pistons. Its four-stroke cycle takes place in a space between the inside of an oval-like epitrochoid-shaped housing and a rotor that...

 displacing 1.3 litres non-turbo (1308 cc). At launch, the RENESIS was available in standard and high power versions. The 4-port standard RENESIS produced 232 hp and was coupled with either a 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmission
Automatic transmission
An automatic transmission is one type of motor vehicle transmission that can automatically change gear ratios as the vehicle moves, freeing the driver from having to shift gears manually...

. The 6-port high power RENESIS was only available with a six-speed manual transmission
Manual transmission
A manual transmission, also known as a manual gearbox or standard transmission is a type of transmission used in motor vehicle applications...

 and was rated at 250 hp. For the North American market, Mazda revised the reported output rating of the standard and high power RENESIS soon after launch to 197 hp and 238 hp, respectively. With exhaust ports now located in the side housing, the RENESIS boasted improved fuel efficiency and emissions rating over the 13B-REW employed by the last RX-7
Mazda RX-7
Series 1 is commonly referred to as the "SA22C" from the first alphanumerics of the vehicle identification number. This series of RX-7 had exposed steel bumpers and a high-mounted indentation-located license plate, called by Werner Buhrer of Road & Track magazine a "Baroque depression."In 1980...

, thereby making it possible to be sold in North America.

At launch, the RX-8 was available in various models in different markets around the world. Standard models include:
  • 6-speed manual "High Power" with a claimed output of 184 kW and a 9,000 rpm redline (Sold in North America). This model was equivalent to the "Type S" trim in Japan.
  • 5-speed manual "Standard Power" tuned to 141 kW with the redline reduced to 7,500 rpm. This powertrain combination was not available in North America.
  • 4-speed automatic tuned to 141 kW in some markets (NZ), while the U.S. automatic is stated to deliver 158 kW .
  • 6-speed automatic (available in the U.S. market after 2006) developing 158 kW and 159 lb.ft of torque with a redline at 7,500 rpm. This was the revised standard RENESIS, now with two extra intake ports like the high power version.

Automatic versions all had low output/low rpm engines due to the lack of availability of a transmission that would be able to reliably cope with the engine's high rpm limits.

Shinka

In 2005, Mazda introduced the first special edition RX-8 called "Sports Prestige Limited" in Japan and "Shinka" in North America. Shinka takes it's name from the Japanese word meaning "transformation" or "evolution" . Billed as a more luxurious grand touring model, this Shinka came with Black Cherry exterior color and Parchment leather interior along with subtly chromed 18" wheels. Only 1357 were made in the 2005 model year (though 2150 were scheduled, production never reached that amount). The most significant mechanical change were slightly revised Bilstein shocks and suspension cross member injected with urethane foam to improve ride quality.

Evolve

Launched in 2006 the ‘Evolve’ was the first special edition for the UK. The new model was named after the original Mazda concept car seen in Detroit in 2000 and was limited to a production run of just 500.

Based on the 231ps high-power version,it had several unique exterior features. These include a choice of two exclusive colours (Copper Red Mica 400 and Phantom Blue Mica 100), unique dark silver 18 x 8J alloy wheels, a polished aluminium Rotary crest on the front air dam, dark silver bezel headlamps, sports door mirrors, polished aluminium side air outlet fins, Rotary branded B-pillar trims, chrome exhaust surrounds.

Inside, the Evolve features unique stone leather and Alcantara® sporty seat trim, plus black leather-wrapped steering wheel, gear knob and hand-brake lever.
The Evolve Special Edition with its enhanced specification was great value for money the same price as a standard RX-8 231ps model with leather trim.

PZ

In May 2006, the Mazda released the RX-8 PZ for the UK market. This car was jointly developed with motorsports company Prodrive
Prodrive
Prodrive is a British motorsport and automotive engineering group based in Banbury, Oxfordshire, England. It designs, constructs and races cars for companies and teams such as Subaru, Aston Martin and Ford...

. Only available in six-speed manual, it featured custom 10-spoke alloy wheels supplied by Italian F1 team supplier OZ Racing in "Dark Silver" finish, mirrors developed to reduce drag, front and rear black mesh grilles, and a rear spoiler to provide more stability at higher speeds. Both the wheels and rear wing are badged in carbon fiber with "Prodrive." Significant revisions were also made to the suspension to improve the handling: dampers from Bilstein and coil springs from Eibach
Eibach
Eibach stands forPlaces* a borough of Nuremberg, see Eibach * a borough of Dillenburg, see Eibach Rivers* a stream located in Swiss canton Basel-Country, see Eibach Buildings...

 are used in addition to reducing the ride height by 15 mm (0.590551181102362 in) and an increase in spring rate of 60%. Finally the car was supplied with a unique upgraded twin exhaust system, with exhaust tailpipes branded "Prodrive." Only 800 were made at an MSRP
Suggested retail price
The manufacturer's suggested retail price , list price or recommended retail price of a product is the price which the manufacturer recommends that the retailer sell the product. The intention was to help to standardise prices among locations...

 of £
Pound sterling
The pound sterling , commonly called the pound, is the official currency of the United Kingdom, its Crown Dependencies and the British Overseas Territories of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, British Antarctic Territory and Tristan da Cunha. It is subdivided into 100 pence...

25,995 ($
United States dollar
The United States dollar , also referred to as the American dollar, is the official currency of the United States of America. It is divided into 100 smaller units called cents or pennies....

51,990). It was available in two colours, Galaxy Grey (320) and Brilliant Black (480).

Nemesis

The 'Nemesis' model is the 3rd special edition model launched in the UK and is a UK exclusive. It was launched in 2006, although some cars were registered in 2007 due to stock runoff. The ‘Nemesis’ features unique paint colours and interior trim, plus an exclusive accessory package, at a cost that was at the time £330 less than the model on which it is based - when similarly specified. Based on the standard 192ps (141 kW) version of the Mazda RX-8, it included a unique stone leather seat trim interior and came with a five-speed manual transmission. The Nemesis has several other unique exterior and interior features. Two exclusive colours were available, Copper Red Mica and Stormy Blue Mica, each Nemesis also comes with a polished aluminium Rotary crest on the front air dam, polished aluminium side air-outlet trims behind the front wheel arches, special B-pillar trims with a Rotary crest and ‘Nemesis’ badging. Inside these special edition models also featured Nemesis branded luxury carpet mats and Mazda RX-8 branded aluminium door scuff plates. Like other standard 192ps RX-8s, the Nemesis has front fog lights, heated front seats, electrically-operated driver’s seat, climate control air-conditioning, nine-speaker BOSE premium audio system with 6-CD auto-changer, plus a black leather-wrapped steering wheel, gear knob and hand-brake lever. The Nemesis has a top speed of 139 mph and accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 7.2 seconds. Each Nemesis buyer also qualified for a complimentary Prodrive
Prodrive
Prodrive is a British motorsport and automotive engineering group based in Banbury, Oxfordshire, England. It designs, constructs and races cars for companies and teams such as Subaru, Aston Martin and Ford...

 experience day. Just 350 examples where commissioned, 200 in Copper Red and 150 in Stormy Blue.

Kuro

In 2007 Mazda released a UK-only limited edition known as the Kuro (Japanese for Black). While the drivetrain remains the same as standard models, it did receive a revised interior as well as minor changes to its head and tail lights. It was only available with a light grey leather interior and Sparkling Black Mica exterior paint. The car was limited to 500, with a scuff plate denoting the serial number out of 500.

40th Anniversary

2007 saw the release of a special edition to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Mazda's rotary engine. The 40th Anniversary special editions were different in the Japan and North American markets. The Japanese version came in Marble White as an homage to the Mazda Cosmo Sport, which was initially only available in white. The North American version came in Metropolitan Grey Mica exterior with the interior clad in special Cosmo Red leather. It also had wheels of a new design later incorporated in the 2009 facelift, as well as an exclusive sport-tuned suspension with Bilstein dampers. Further upgrades included an enhanced urethane foam injected front cross member intended to improve steering feel. In North America, this special edition was available only in 2008.

True Red Style

During the 2004 model year, Mazda released a "True Red Style" special edition RX-8 in Japan. It came in exclusive True Red exterior color with black leather interior and minor trim variations.

Hydrogen RE

At the 2004 North American International Auto Show
North American International Auto Show
The North American International Auto Show is an annual auto show held in Detroit, Michigan at Cobo Center, usually in January. It is among the largest auto shows in North America.-History:...

, Mazda unveiled the RX-8 Hydrogen RE concept car, designed to run on either hydrogen or gasoline. In February 2006, Mazda revealed that it would start leasing a dual fuel RX-8 to commercial customers in Japan, and in March 2006 announced its first two customers, claiming the first fleet deliveries of a dual hydrogen/gasoline production car. In 2008 30 RX-8 HRE were delivered to Hynor
Hynor
The HyNor hydrogen highway in Norway was established in 2003 and is part of the Scandinavian hydrogen highway partnership. The highway is part of the Norwegian hydrogen infrastructure, and several hydrogen refuelling stations have been built along the route....

.

Mazdaspeed Version

After initial launch in 2003, Mazda released a limited run of RX-8 dubbed "Mazdaspeed Version" boasting various Mazdaspeed accessories as well as a slightly tuned ECU. This special edition was available in True Red, Strato Blue Mica or Sunlight Silver. Only 300 were produced. In 2004, Mazda followed up with a "Mazdaspeed Version II," this time available only in Strato Blue and with slightly up-rated equipment. Only 300 were produced as before.

NR-A

Following suit with the Roadster, Mazda introduced the NR-A/Party Race program for RX-8 in Japan in 2004. The NR-A kit, sold through Mazda dealers, brings the RX-8 up to spec in terms of eligibility for participation in the one-make Party Race sanctioned by the Japan Automobile Federation (JAF). The kit includes roll bar, sports radiator, oil cooler kit, tow hooks, and racing brake pads, and was only available for the Type S (high power) model.

2008 update

In 2008 for the 2009 model year, Mazda engineers improved the RX-8 body rigidity through the addition of structural reinforcements, by adding a trapezoidal strut tower bar and enhancing the local rigidity of the front suspension tower areas. The updated RX-8 is also 90 lbs lighter than the previous (2003-2008) models. Additionally, the rear suspension geometry has been reconfigured for better handling by improving driveshaft rigidity, lowering NVH levels, and improving overall performance. The updated RX-8 has a different gearing ratio (on manual transmission-equipped cars) that is lowered from 4.444 to 4.777 for improved off-the-line performance. While minimal, these performance changes give the updated RX-8 increased acceleration and performance, as well as even greater responsiveness to the accelerator pedal. Mazda claims that the updated RX-8 is a significantly faster car than the previous (2003–2008) model car due to the lighter weight, lowered gearing, and improved suspension.

The updated RX-8 also receives design enhancements that are meant to freshen the styling and give the RX-8 a new look, without impairing the basic design theme. Refinements for the 2009 model year include a more aggressive restyled front and rear bumper as well as a new front fascia. The 09 RX-8 also comes with sporty, high-quality finish front and rear headlamps as well as larger exhaust pipes (now measuring 90 mm across). The updated RX-8 also offers a new five-spoke wheel design featuring a symbolic and sporty design reminiscent of the rotary engine, with different arrangements for each wheel size. There are currently three trims available to consumers: Sport, Grand Touring, and R3.

R3

The R3 version was introduced for the 2009 year model. The R3 package adds slightly improved suspension over the base model by adding Bilstein shock absorbers and a foam filled front crossmember to improve rigidity. The R3 also comes with 19-inch BBS-forged aluminum-alloy wheels and high performance tires. On the exterior, the R3 has a different, lower front bumper sporting a splitter, lower side sills, and a standard rear spoiler. There is a pair of special Recaro seats up front, along with the same 300-watt Bose audio system, Bluetooth, and Mazda advanced keyless entry and start system.

Warranty extension program

Mazda North American Operations extended the engine warranty on RX-8s built between 2004 and 2008 to 8 years or 100,000 miles. The warranty extension covers the engine core which consists of the rotor housing and internal parts as well as the seals and gaskets. A copy of the extended warranty can be found at Racing Beat's website.

MAZDASPEED

Mazdaspeed
Mazdaspeed
Mazdaspeed is Mazda's in-house race and street car tuning arm. It began in 1968 as "Mazda Sports Corner", a tuning and racing operation run by Takayoshi Ohashi, who also ran Mazda's Tokyo distributor...

, Mazda's in-house tuning and high-performance arm, has produced various after-sale parts and accessories for the RX-8, including full body kits, suspension upgrades, engine upgrades (such as cold air intake kit and catback exhausts), and various interior accessories. In addition, Mazdaspeed has also produced several series of showroom-ready limited-production RX-8s in Japan featuring some of these parts and accessories. To date, however, there has not yet been a full Mazdaspeed-tuned RX-8 along the same line as the Mazdaspeed Protege, Mazdaspeed MX-5, Mazdaspeed6, or the Mazdaspeed3
Mazdaspeed3
The 2010 Mazdaspeed3 retains the MZR 2.3 DISI Turbo engine. Pictures and comprehensive details were revealed to the public at the 2009 Geneva Auto Show and its North American Debut was at the New York Auto Show in April 2009. The MZR 2.3 liter engine remains, however new ECU tweaks will provide...

.

Racing

The RX-8 has been campaigned and used in various racing series by privateers. It has seen a considerable amount of success, the most prominent of which being the 2008 and 2010 24 Hours of Daytona
24 Hours of Daytona
The 24 Hours of Daytona, currently known as the Rolex 24 Daytona for sponsorship reasons, is a 24-hour sports car endurance race held annually at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. It is run on a combined road course, utilizing portions of the NASCAR tri-oval and an infield...

 GT-class wins campaigned by SpeedSource Race Engineering. This victory also marks the 23rd endurance race win at Daytona by a Mazda rotary-powered race car. While the cars are powered by the 20B rotary engines, the car is in fact built on a tube frame chassis and not on the production car.

Ryan Eversley won both races of the 2010 SCCA World Challenge Mid-Ohio Grand Prix in the touring car class.

Other racing series include the KONI Challenge Series
KONI Challenge Series
The Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge is a racing series run by the Grand American Road Racing Association. Originating from the Canadian Motorola Cup, the series was taken over by Grand-Am in 2001 to become the Grand-Am Cup following the demise of rival IMSA's Firehawk series of similar rules...

 in the Street Tuner class.
In the UK, the RX8 featured in the Mazda sponsored "Formula Women" series (2004), which involved all women drivers with slightly modified RX8s, and the RX8 was also run successfully in Britcar series endurance races (2005 / 2006)
In Belgium, Mazda are currently sponsoring an RX8 silhouette racer in the GT series.

Successor

The next generation rotary engine, dubbed "16X," is currently under development. Rumours suggest that the RX-8 may be replaced by a new smaller, lighter, simpler rotary engine sports car set to compete with the likes of the upcoming Toyota FT-86. It is also rumored to use Mazda’s new 16X rotary engine which is said to be ‘quite a bit bigger’ than the current twin-rotor design.

Key points for the RX-8 successor include the introduction of direct injection technology. The new car will also have aluminium side housings, 1600cc capacity instead of 1308cc of the 13B RX-7 and RX-8 engine, and new engine dimensions with increased stroke and reduced rotor width for improved thermal efficiency and more torque.

Japanese reports and Autocar both claim that the next generation RX-8 will have around 290 horsepower. They also claim the car should weigh in at around 2800 lbs, making it a true light-weight sports car.

In October 2011, Mazda announced a final production run of a special edition RX-8 Spirit R, and confirmed that production for the RX-8 will cease by June 2012 with no replacement in the near term. This would mean that Mazda will no longer have any production rotary engine powered models in its line-up. Rumours suggest that development work on the next generation rotary engine have been given a lower priority and will proceed at a slower pace, due to limited engineering resources and tightening emission regulations, making development of a high performance rotary engine a lower priority compared to the next generation MX-5. However, in the Spirit R's press release Mazda stressed that development of rotary engines will continue, but stopped short of revealing any further commitments. Takashi Yamanouchi, Mazda's Representative Director, Chairman of the Board, President and CEO "...Although RX-8 production is ending, the rotary engine will always represent the spirit of Mazda and Mazda remains committed to its ongoing development."

Awards

As of October 2006 the RX-8 has won at least 37 international motoring awards including 2003 International Engine of the Year, the 2003 Japanese Car of the Year, Australia's Wheels magazine's Car of the Year for 2003, the 2004 Singapore Car of the Year, the 2004 U.S. Best Sports Car, and several UK
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 Best Car Awards. It was named on Car and Driver
Car and Driver
Car and Driver is an American automotive enthusiast magazine. Its total circulation is 1.31 million. It is owned by Hearst Magazines, who purchased prior owner Hachette Filipacchi Media U.S. in 2011...

magazine's Ten Best list
Car and Driver Ten Best
Car and Driver magazine annually nominates a list of what it considers the Ten Best cars and Five Best trucks.All production vehicles for sale in that calendar year are considered with these restrictions:# The vehicle must be on sale by January...

for 2004, 2005, and 2006. It also took home 1st place on Car and Driver's "Four of a Kind" comparison test. 2010 RX-8 R3 edition placed 3rd out of 7 on Car and Driver's The Best-Handling Car in America for Less Than $100,000.

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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