Sportiness, versatility and value for money - three of the key attributes of the Mazda RX-8 – have all been recognised by Britain’s fleet professionals who voted the Japanese marque’s flagship model the best Sporting Car in the annual Fleet Excellence Awards.
The Awards, announced at a ceremony in London this month, are voted for by fleet decision-makers who read Fleet Week, Fleet Management and What Van? Fleet magazines.
Mazda was one of the UK’s fastest growing fleet manufacturers last year as corporate sales soared by more than a third year-on-year with the Mazda RX-8 gaining a significant following in the user-chooser sector.
"The uniqueness of the four-door Mazda RX-8 with its 1.3-litre Renesis rotary engine enabled the model to muscle aside more established German marques to win the Sporting Car award for 2005," said Fleet Management editor Guy Bird.
He said: "The award win is a tribute to the Mazda RX-8’s great form and even better function. Since the award’s inception in 2002, in recognition of the growing influence of user-choosers in the fleet market, it has been dominated by the Germans - the Audi TT (2002 and 2003), and BMW Z4 (2004). No longer.
"Where the Mazda RX-8 scores so well is in the high level of versatility that goes with its sportiness. A four-door coupe - with innovative door opening to allow easy access front and back - make it genuinely suitable for four adults and luggage while the zippy and clever rotary engine gives the driver a superb sporty experience. Its residual values and wholelife costs beat its competitors by some margin."
Mazda fleet and remarketing director David McGonigle said: "The upper medium Mazda6 has won many fleet plaudits and was the model that put Mazda on the corporate sales map. Now, for the Mazda RX-8 to win recognition from such a discerning sector of the new car market is fantastic because the readers - our customers - are not only taking into account a vehicle’s ride, handling and performance, but, crucially its wholelife costs.
"The Mazda RX-8 is both aspirational and desirable and its combination of ultra-competitive list prices and strong residual values means it is an enticing package for fleet operators and company car drivers alike.
"The car has a huge ‘wow’ factor and is turning heads. Demand for the Mazda RX-8 is huge and the model is attracting buyers from both the premium four-door saloon market as well as from the two-seat car sector."
Two Mazda RX-8 models are available - the £20,100 on the road Mazda RX-8 pumping out 192ps and the £22,100 high power derivative producing 231ps. Standard equipment on both models includes 18-inch alloy wheels, ABS with Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD), Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) and Traction Control System (TCS), driver, passenger, side and curtain airbags, climate control air conditioning and a BOSE Premium Audio system with nine speakers and a six CD auto-changer.Published 1 February 2005