Mazda Motor Corporation’s new RENESIS rotary engine, powering the new Mazda RX-8, has been named"International Engine of the Year 2003."
Nobuhiro Hayama, Executive Officer and General Manager of Mazda’s Powertrain Division, and Dan Morris, President and CEO, Mazda Motor Europe, were on hand to accept the award today at the Engine Expo 2003 in Stuttgart, Germany. One of the world’s most coveted automotive accolades, the award is based on testing by 50 motoring journalists from 22 countries around the world; including Germany’s Georg Kacher, Ken Gibson from the UK and Japan-based Peter Nunn.
"From our first application of rotary technology in the 1967 Cosmo Sport, to the only rotary-engine win at Le Mans, in 1991, Mazda has never given up on this technology," said Nobuhiro Hayama, in accepting the award. "That persistence, that devotion to engineering fundamentals, is the hallmark of the engineering spirit and heritage at Mazda. And it is that spirit which drives our company’s resurgence today."
All current production engines between sub-1.0-litre to above 4.0-litre capacities were judged in areas such as drivability, performance, economy, refinement, and the successful application of advanced technology. There were 12 categories in all, including the grand prize, International Engine of the Year. Mazda’s new RENESIS rotary engine was named "Best New Engine of 2003" and best engine in the '2.5-litre to 3-litre' category.
A shortlist of eight category winners then competed for the "International Engine of the Year 2003" award, with Mazda RENESIS winning ahead of Volkswagen’s V10 diesel and BMW’s M3 engine.
"Mazda's International Engine of the Year Award success is a remarkable achievement," said Graham Johnson, editor of Engine Technology International and Chairman of the Awards. "In fact, 44 of the judges voted for this rotary engine to become International Engine of the Year 2003 – a new Awards record. Mazda can rightly state that it produces the finest automobile engine in the world."
Launched in the new Mazda RX-8 this past spring in Japan, and poised to hit showrooms in Europe later this year, RENESIS represents a revolution in rotary engine technology. Delivering smooth, high-revving rotary performance with acceptable fuel consumption, it also achieves Euro Stage IV.
Key technologies contributing to this achievement include advanced side-exhaust technology, which eliminates exhaust and intake port overlap, and allowed RENESIS engineers to optimise the engine’s port profiles; along with a sequential-dynamic air intake system, one electronic throttle valve and new, highly efficient fuel injectors and high-performance spark plugs to deliver better ignition of the fuel-air mixture.
"An astonishing new engine," said Awards judge Alberto Bellucci of RENESIS, "with power, acceleration and silence better than a real sports car." And 43 of the other judges agreed. Perfectly matched to the new 4-door Mazda RX-8, RENESIS will soon be available to sports car lovers everywhere.Published 4 June 2003