Mazda RX-8

Mazda RX-8 has scooped the Best Coupé award in the Auto Express New Car Honours for the second consecutive year, announced in Auto Express magazine today (Wednesday, 20 July 2005). This award marks the 10th UK award for the unique rotary-powered sports coupé and its 39th international accolade proving its phenomenal success globally.

Auto Express - Britain's biggest selling weekly car magazine - praised the Mazda RX-8 for its uniqueness: "What’s this, a four door winning the coupé award? Of course the Mazda RX-8 doesn’t exactly pay attention to convention. Picking up this award for the second time, the mould-breaking Japanese coupé has proved it’s not just a flash in the pan."

Collecting the award at a glittering ceremony in London, Mazda Managing Director Philip Waring explained the appeal: "The Mazda RX-8 has changed the face of the sports car market in the UK. It brings real motoring excitement to everyday family life and breaks the mould for sports cars with its freestyle door system allowing easy access for children and adults, unlike conventional coupés."

Auto Express talks about the appeal further in its awards issue out today: "British buyers have embraced the RX-8, despite its quirks and it sells in large numbers on these shores. It’s not hard to see what appeals to buyers. The low slung coupé looks fantastic and those rear hinged doors provide good access to the back.

"Thanks to the long wheelbase, two adults can fit comfortably in the snug rear cabin. The boot is spacious and although there’s no hatchback, practicality is good. The build quality and driving environment are similarly impressive - particularly the tight gearshift and responsive steering."

Entertaining to drive

The heart of the Mazda RX-8 is a newly developed rotary engine, RENESIS that combines high levels of performance potential, with acceptable fuel consumption and low emissions. The entry model produces 192ps of power at 7,000rpm, with maximum torque of 220Nm achieved at 5,000rpm.

The flagship model produces 231ps at 8,200rpm achieving 211Nm of maximum torque at 5,500rpm. The 192ps model accelerates to 62mph in 7.2 seconds with a top speed of 139mph. The 231ps model sprints from 0 to 62mph in 6.4 seconds with a top speed of 146mph.

Auto Express particularly liked the handling: "In fact the RX-8 is a joy to drive. With great turn-in and a fun-loving nature, it’s a hugely entertaining car.

Auto Express concluded: "The whole package looks even better when you consider the equipment and value for money. No wonder it remains our top rated coupé."

Racing Prowess

The unfaltering demand for Mazda RX-8 has been further boosted by the endurance racing in the S1 Production Series with five race wins this season demonstrating that Mazda RX-8’s unique rotary engine not only provides exhilarating performance, but is durable and reliable even under the most extreme driving conditions. The true speed and reliability of the Mazda RX-8 will be further put to the test with races taking place at Oulton Park on 6 August and a 24-hour endurance race at Silverstone on 11-12 September.

To read our in depth road test of the Mazda RX-8 [ click here ]

Published : 20/07/05 Author : Melanie Carter

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