Mazda RX-8: Joy Of Life | Part Four

The Mazda RX-8

Mazda RX-8

Our most important sense is our ability to see. With our eyes we recognize colours, forms and movement. And when we look at the Mazda RX-8, it is passion at first sight. Its design awakens feelings that we didn’t even know we had. Its forms go beyond what we usually understand as automotive design. At the same time, the Mazda RX-8 expresses something that is infinitely valid for every person not satisfied with achieving something easily. For this kind of person, sport does not mean effort as much as the challenge the effort requires. This kind of person takes on a challenge as a way of overcoming one’s own weaknesses, in order to build the strength for something new. The Mazda RX-8 challenges convention to become something new. It is sporty and muscular. It looks powerful. But it resembles a decathlete more than a weightlifter. It combines strength with intelligence.

The Mazda RX-8 is also passion and heat, with a design language that expresses a love of speed. It is an example of the aesthetic of covert speed whose appeal was felt by futurists a hundred years ago, who idolized speed and machines, felt it to be a new form of grandeur in this world and made it the centre of their artistic efforts. With a design that celebrates the fact that it is a sports car, the Mazda RX-8's is a physical experience and an invitation to enjoy. And yet, its appearance is the result of an intelligent design process that knew exactly what it wanted to say and how to say it. Nowhere is there baroque extravagance. Rather, it concentrates and expresses a distinctive restraint and the kind of austerity that is inherent in true enjoyment.

This call to enjoy is heightened even further by the tart smell of the leather in its interior, by its intimate yet roomy cabin, by the sound of the high-revving and powerful engine under its bonnet. And by its precise craftsmanship, which is a Japanese meditation on that which is essential, the same calm precision you can find at every Sushi bar with dishes like Temaki, Hosomaki and Uramaki. Its concept is free from all ambiguity and results in a clear use of materials. How deeply the Mazda RX-8 can appeal to a person's emotions is only a question of how open one is to its sensuous beauty.

Yes, the very first encounter with the Mazda RX-8 opens up a world beyond automobile technology. For those willing to step closer and experience the car with their senses, discovering this world begins with a journey into themselves. With a bit of luck, this journey will lead them to the true character of the Mazda RX-8.

Published 14 May 2004 Melanie Carter

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