Mazda RX-8 PZ

Responding to enthusiastic customer feedback, Mazda is introducing an even more ‘focused’ version of its highest performance, four-door, sports coupé. On sale in the UK from 1 July it will be called the ‘Mazda RX-8 PZ’.

Based on the 231ps high-power version of Mazda RX-8 with leather trim, the PZ has been further developed by Mazda jointly with leading motorsport company Prodrive, and specialist component suppliers Bilstein, Eibach and OZ Racing. Mazda’s brief to Prodrive was to build on the remarkable attributes of the standard Mazda RX-8 and create a special model that delivers greater driver involvement and an even more rewarding motoring experience, with enhanced ride and handling, while staying true to the original concept and without compromising the car’s passenger comfort as a unique four-seater sports car.

Ensuring a touch of exclusivity, just 800 examples of the Mazda RX-8 PZ will be available, priced at £25,995 on-the-road with an insurance rating of 17E compared to 16E for the standard RX-8 231ps model.

Distinguishing features include a choice of two colours Brilliant Black (solid) or Galaxy Grey (metallic), unique 18-inch OZ alloy wheels, rear silencer and aerodynamic rear spoiler, lowered suspension, sporty door mirrors, grille mesh inserts on front and rear bumpers as well as ‘PZ’ and 'Prodrive' badging. Additionally, inside RX-8 PZ features the black leather seat trim, plus black leather-wrapped steering wheel, gear knob and hand-brake lever that features as standard on all RX-8 231ps models.

While the PZ certainly looks sophisticated and different from regular RX-8s, the changes and components that deliver the ‘greater driver involvement’ lie beneath the car’s stylish exterior. Bespoke suspension settings were developed by Prodrive during extensive testing of the prototype car at its Warwick test centre, the MIRA proving ground and on selected public roads, including challenging A and B roads as well as motorways.

The final specification derived by Prodrive for the Mazda RX-8 PZ sees the ride height lowered by 15mm all round, while the car is equipped with top-quality components from three companies at the leading edge of world-class motorsport.

continues... | Part Two

Published : 08/05/06 Author : Melanie Carter

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