With the launch of the new Mazda RX-8 and its RENESIS engine, Mazda has written a new and successful chapter in the history of vehicles with rotary engines under the bonnet.
The Mazda RX-8 when it goes on sale later this year is the latest in a long line of rotary powered vehicles from the Japanese manufacturer. Priced at £20,000 for the 192ps version and £22,000 for the 231ps version, the Mazda RX-8 has a proud heritage that stretches back to 1967 and includes some notable motor racing wins.
Before the launch of the Mazda RX-8 it is worth a look at some of the rotary powered Mazdas over the years and the success of rotary power on the track. The Mazda RX-8 is the product of a long Mazda heritage of manufacturing vehicles with Wankel engines, some of which enjoy cult status among sports car drivers. The most important of these Mazda vehicles include:
Cosmo Sport 110 S
The Cosmo Sport 110 S was launched in 1967 with a 110hp 10A rotary engine. The first car from Mazda with a rotary engine, it was also the first of its kind to go into mass production. By 1972, Mazda had built a total of 1,176 units of the Cosmo Sport. The predecessor of the Mazda RX-7, it made its racing debut at the 72-hour Marathon de la Route, where it finished fourth.