This is the 2010 Mazda RX-8!

Article by Christian Andrei, on August 29, 2010

When the Mazda RX-8 was first launched back in 2003, it created a bit of impact on the global market. Since then, 182,000 units have been sold worldwide. It has even won a number of vehicle awards like the 2003 International Engine of the Year, 2003 Japanese Car of the Year, and the Car of the Year for 2003 awarded by Australia’s Wheels magazine.

For 2004, it was named as UK Car of the Year, the U.S. Best Sports Car, and even Singapore Car of the Year. It has also been mentioned in the Ten Best for Car and Driver magazine for the years 2004, 2005, and 2006. Overall, it has garnered 48 global vehicle awards. It comes equipped with the RENESIS Rotary Engine, which has won 9 awards since the 2003 launch.

This latest model has significant updates compared to the 2003 version that includes a new design for the interior and exterior as well as improved performance. It also has an R3 model for driving enthusiasts. The latest RX-8 though continues to have a number of the same features as well as updates.

To make sure that the company is able to meet the demands of the customers, the 2010 RX-8 will come in two trim levels -- the Grand Touring and the Sport. The R3 model in particular was made to satisfy enthusiasts. One of the things that remain in the RX-8 is that it is a balanced and lightweight vehicle powered by the RENESIS twin-rotor rotary engine.

RX-8 vehicle line manager Chris Hill shared that when the Cosmo Sport was first launched back in 1967, all sports cars Mazda made after that follow the same basic principle which is to give car enthusiasts a vehicle that is not only fun to drive but affordable as well.

The 2010 RX-8 is a good example of this as it expresses the distinct DNA Mazda is known for to its full extent, he continued. Still the RX-8 continues to be a sports car that offers a dynamic experience. As a result of the structural reinforcements and the excellent body rigidity, Mazda reconfigured the rear suspension geometry for this model to offer not just better handling performance but also enhanced driveshaft rigidity.

In order to accomplish this, the company made sure to utilize the RENESIS engine. RENESIS refers to a Rotary Engine genesis which represents a rebirth of the rotary engine. The RX-8 thus continues to be the sole rotary-powered passenger car that is mass produced. In addition to displaying a high power output not seen on an aspirated engine, the RENESIS also outperforms other similar engines when it comes to acceleration as it always has reserve power and offers quick response.

There are two versions available for the Mazda RX-8. The first is a 232-horsepower version that has a six-speed manual transmission. The second offers 212-horsepower with a six-speed automatic transmission and paddle shifters mounted on the steering wheel, giving a driving experience similar to that witnessed in a Formula 1 race.

Furthermore, the rotary engine of the RX-8 can efficiently accomplish the four processes which are intake, compression, combustion, and exhaust. This is attributed to the use of a triangular rotor inside a cocoon-shaped combustion chamber. The RENESIS engine offers smooth and high revving.

It can go as high as 9,000 rpm or about 7,500 rpm for the Sport A/T-equipped models. Compared to the internal combustion engines in standard vehicles, the RENESIS has a smaller engine footprint. Compared to a V-6 for example, it is 60% lighter and smaller. Meanwhile it is 40% smaller and lighter than a four-cylinder.

All of these features that define what the RX-8 is could only be possible because the engineers did not use a traditional piston engine. The engineers also modified around 40 years of rotary designs. As such, the RENESIS engine has a side intake and even exhaust ports that offer 30% more intake and twice the amount of exhaust area compared to the prior models. All of the efficiencies that are acquired through the use of the exhaust ports and larger intake eliminate the need to have forced induction.

The 1.3-liter engine of the RX-8 may appear to be smaller compared to those that have the V-8s or even the V-10s or V-12s. Still, the RENESIS engine is able to give a smooth and linear power on a larger scale as it uses an electronic throttle, state-of-the-art three-stage intake system, and the highly efficient rotary powerplant.

To reduce the unsprung weight, the double-wishbone front suspension RX-8 uses aluminium components instead of steel ones. The upper and lower arms have been mounted on the rigid sub-frame and thus the long arms guarantee that the linear alignment changes when the front wheels bounce and rebound.

All the wheels of the RX-8 have the gas-filled mono-tube shock absorbers constructed with internal pistons having large diameters and valving. As a result, it offers a smooth ride in addition to providing road feedback. There is also the electric power-steering rack-and-pinion system that channels the correct amount of information from the road to the driver.

Similar to what they did with the other features, the engineers used an electric motor to help with steering assistance instead of the standard power-steering pump. The electric motor gives additional assistance when at low speeds and this helps with the parking.

It can even reduce steering assistance when running at high speed to give better response, feedback, and better road feel. Much like most of its features, the RX-8 is lighter and that much easy to package when compared to the traditional power-steering rack.

Press Release

Mazda RX-8

Launched in 2003, the Mazda RX-8 hit the global market with a serious bang. The RX-8 has won 48 global vehicle awards since its release including 2003 Japanese Car of the Year, Australia’s Wheels magazine’s Car of the Year for 2003, 2003 International Engine of the Year, 2004 Singapore Car of the Year, the 2004 U.S. Best Sports Car and UK Car of the Year 2004. It was also named on Car and Driver magazine’s Ten Best list for 2004, 2005, and 2006. In addition, the RENESIS Rotary Engine has won nine awards since 2003. All together, Mazda has sold nearly 182,000 RX-8s around the world.

Significantly updated for 2009 with a refreshed exterior and interior design, enhanced performance and an R3 model for the ultimate driving enthusiast, RX-8 maintains the same great features for 2010, while refining a few simple touches. To better accommodate consumer demands, the 2010 RX-8 is available with two trim levels - Sport and Grand Touring - and the R3 model, specially designed with the enthusiast in mind. Unchanged is the core of the RX-8 - a high-powered, lightweight and perfectly balanced machine powered by the world-renowned twin-rotor RENESIS rotary engine.

"Since the launch of the Cosmo Sport in 1967, every sports car ever developed by Mazda has had the same fundamental mission - to provide vehicle lovers with an affordable, fun-to-drive alternative," said Chris Hill, RX-8 vehicle line manager. "The 2010 RX-8 embodies that mission, conveying the unique and distinctive Mazda brand DNA to the fullest."

Through-and-through, the RX-8 is a pure sports car that gives the driver an exciting and dynamic experience. With its superior body rigidity and structural reinforcements, the rear suspension geometry was reconfigured for the 2009 model year for better handling performance and improved driveshaft rigidity.

To achieve this sophisticated dynamic, Mazda utilizes the advanced RENESIS (Rotary Engine genesis - or rebirth of the rotary engine) engine. The Mazda RX [Mazda RX] -8 remains the only mass-produced rotary-powered passenger car in the world. While exhibiting unusually high power output for a naturally aspirated engine, RENESIS outstrips comparable reciprocating engines in terms of acceleration, the feeling of power in reserve and quick response.

The Mazda RX-8 is available as either a 232-horsepower model fitted with a six-speed manual transmission, or a 212-horsepower model fitted with a six-speed automatic with steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters for a Formula 1-style driving experience.

By turning a triangular rotor in a cocoon-shaped combustion chamber, the RX-8’s rotary engine efficiently performs the four processes of intake, compression, combustion and exhaust. The RENESIS engine is remarkably smooth and high revving - all the way to 9,000 rpm (7,500 rpm on Sport A/T-equipped models) - and offers a smaller engine footprint than traditional internal combustion engines (some 60 percent smaller and lighter than a comparably powered V-6, and 40 percent smaller and lighter than a four-cylinder). In fact, the packaging and styling that define the RX-8 would not have been possible had Mazda engineers chosen a conventional piston engine.

Improving upon 40 years of rotary designs, the RENESIS engine features side intake and exhaust ports with nearly 30 percent more intake area and twice as much exhaust area than its predecessors. The efficiencies gained through larger intake and exhaust ports exclude the need for forced induction.

The RX-8’s normally aspirated 1.3-liter engine might appear diminutive to the untrained eye when compared to large-displacement V-8s or heavyweight V-10s or V-12s. However, through the incredible efficiencies of a rotary powerplant, an advanced three-stage intake system and an electronic throttle, the RENESIS engine delivers smooth, linear power on a grand scale.

The RX-8 uses an aluminum double-wishbone front suspension, reducing unsprung weight over the use of steel components. By mounting the upper and lower arms on a highly rigid sub-frame, the long arms ensure linear alignment changes throughout the jounce and rebound of the front wheels. All wheels receive mono-tube gas-filled shock absorbers designed with large-diameter internal pistons and valving, which offer excellent road feedback and a smooth ride.

An electric rack-and-pinion power-steering system transmits just the right amount of road information back to the driver. Mazda engineers have chosen to pursue their own path by using an electric motor for steering assistance rather than a conventional power-steering pump. The electric motor provides additional assistance at low speeds to ease parking and reduces steering assistance at higher speeds to provide greater road feel, responsiveness and feedback. And, in keeping with the rest of the development on RX-8, it is far lighter and easier to package than a conventional power-steering rack.

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