RX-8 A Revolution In Sports Car Technology | Part Three

Mazda RX-8


The body structure of the Mazda RX-8 has been designed to resist torsional bending. Techniques used to suppress noise and vibration have contributed to an extremely comfortable interior atmosphere for passenger and driver alike. For the interior itself, Mazda concentrated on creating a contemporary and sporty ambience. Analogue and digital instrumentation have been combined into a unified, easy-to-use whole. The driver’s field of vision is dominated by the tachometer, with the zero position at six-o’clock, which is appropriate to a sports car with high rev capacity. All controls are within easy reach of the driver and sports bucket seats provide excellent side support, even when taking a corner at high speed.

Mazda RX-8 has been designed and constructed to provide the best in driving safety. The Mazda RX-8 is extremely well balanced and delivers class-leading handling, precise steering and excellent driving behaviour under all driving conditions. In addition, Mazda RX-8 offers the latest in active safety technology. Anti-lock brakes (ABS), electronic brake force distribution (EBD), dynamic stability control (DSC) with a traction control system (TCS) as well as a limited slip differential (LSD) all contributing to a safe driving experience even for the most enthusiastic driver.

In the unlikely event of an accident, impact energy is distributed over pre-defined load paths through the body of the Mazda RX-8, so that—depending on severity—the passenger cell remains intact. Three-point safety belts with belt pretensioners and load limiters are standard. Standard front dual-stage airbags, side airbags and curtain airbags combine to provide excellent passive protection to passenger and driver. Whiplash-reducing front headrests prevent the head from being thrust suddenly backwards in a rear end collision, which can cause whiplash and severe injury to the neck. Mazda RX-8 engineers have introduced a robust steel pipe reinforcement in the rear door that, when closed, functions as a B-pillar and provides the necessary stability in case of side impact.

The Mazda RX-8 really is a new departure for sports coupés, the Mazda RX-8 is a car that is both functional and exciting to drive and stunning to look at and is sure to change the way people think about sports cars.

Published 29 July 2003 Melanie Carter

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