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Mazda RX-8

The Mazda RX-8 is a car manufactured by Mazda; which first appeared in North America at the North American International Auto Show (2001). The vehicle features a 247 SAE net hp at 8500 rpm RENESIS Wankel rotary engine, which won International Engine of the Year 2003. The engine redlines at 9000 rpm.

One major change in design between the RX-8 and the RX-7 is the addition of a pair of rear-hinged ('suicide') half-doors (similar to the 3rd door in the Saturn coupe), which allow easier access to the two back seats. The RX-8 has no center pillars seperating the front and rear doors. The front doors are hinged at the front, and aluminum back doors are hinged at the rear. A safety lock mechanism allows the back doors to open only if the front doors are open. Weight distribution in the RX-8 is a balanced 50/50 in the front and rear. Mazda’s new rotary engine is smaller and lighter than prior rotaries, yet it yields more power. New to its design are a side-intake and side-exhaust. To cut down on cost, the RX-8 does not come with a turbocharger or supercharger, like the RX-7's. The engine produces 210 horsepower in the automatic transmission form, and 250 horsepower in the manual transmission form. Mazda aggressively trimmed mass from the RX-8 concept by using aluminum and plastic for body panels and installing a carbon composite driveshaft. The dimensions of the RX-8 are virtually identical to those of the Porsche 911 Carrera.

According to Mazda, the RX-8 was originally developed to potentially use either gasoline or hydrogen as fuel (CanadianDriver Communications, Inc., 2004).

See also