Mazda RX-8

The arrival of the revolutionary Mazda RX-8 sports car in the summer will be another significant landmark for a brand which has a remarkable and unique sporting heritage.

Mazda not only produces the world’s best-selling sports car – the Mazda MX-5 – but is also the only Japanese manufacturer to win the prestigious Le Mans 24 Hour Endurance Race. Mazda is also the only company to utilise the unique rotary engine – the technology which not only powered the Le Mans-winning car, but which also provides the power for the all-new Mazda RX-8.

This newcomer is a remarkable four-seater sports car with a freestyle door system which does away with the need for B-pillars. The result is a stylish sports car design with none of the compromises of packaging normally associated with sports car interiors.

The Mazda RX-8 is instantly distinguished by its aggressive bonnet line, flared wheelarches, short overhangs front and back, deep bumpers, steeply sloping A-pillars and strongly curvaceous roofline – all hinting at the car’s performance potential. A number of design touches echo the car’s power source, with the rotor shape in the bonnet’s power bulge, the rear fog light, the gear lever knob and the front seat head restraints.

These bold coupe lines cleverly disguise one of the car’s revolutionary features – its freestyle four doors. The two rear-hinged rear doors open towards the back of the car, in the opposite direction to the front-hinged front doors. The rear doors can only be opened when the front doors are open, and this design, which dispenses with centre B pillars, gives excellent access. This unique design makes the Mazda RX-8 a true sports car when driving, but an easy-access four-door car when getting in and out – and a car that can comfortably accommodate four adults.

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Published : 15/01/03 Author : Melanie Carter

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