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Company Mazda is the only one in the world to mass-produce cars with rotary-piston Wankel engine, and this has become a kind of a sartorial statement for the company. The first such model Mazda Cosmo appeared in 1967. At that time many companies have experimented with Wankel engines, but soon most of them abandoned the idea. In fact, such engines were not very reliable, and consumed a lot of fuel, especially oil. However, Mazda engineers were insistent: for decades they continued to produce rotary models and gradually improved their design. At the moment, the apex of the evolution of these cars is a coupe RX-8 presented in 2004, about this car we are going to talk in Mazda RX-8 Review.
With its appearance the car demonstrates originality. It has muscled athletic design with inflated wings. The long bonnet talks about the layout of the RX-8: its engine is located behind the front axle. The rotor aspect can be seen in the coupe design; in particular in the shape of triangular vent holes and a bulge on the hood.
Perhaps the most noticeable exterior feature of the coupe is its doors. In fact, the car has four doors and the pair of rear doors opens against the motion, and since there are no central roof pillars, the opening offers the wide entrance to the cabin. Model 2008 is updated in the style of Furai concept. The front optics became xenon and together with a new front bumper it is reminiscent to the shape of a wave, and symbolizes the flow of water. The exhaust pipes are slightly increased in diameter. The car got 19-inch tires and finalized underbody for better aerodynamics.
The center console is lacquered and has many chromed switches. The instrument panel is a bit like a motorcycle. The screen of a digital speedometer is located inside the electroluminescent tachometer dial. A small three-spoke steering wheel is adjustable in height only. It is set in a very unusual way – quite far from the seat, while the pedals are too close to it. The driver’s positioning is very low. The new Recaro sports seats with good lateral support are decorated with cloth and leather. They are separated by a high central tunnel.
Behind there are also two individual seats. Mazda RX-8 is a full four-seat coupe. Adults can easily travel on the second row for a long time. To increase legroom the runners (to regulate the front seats) are made more compact.
The standard equipment list includes: air conditioning, electric windows, cruise control, rain and light sensor, Bluetooth, automatic headlights, Bose sound system including 300-watt CD-changer, Antilock Braking System ABS brakes, the DSC stabilization system, traction control and six airbags. Optional Grand Touring package adds climate control, power driver seat, heated seats and mirrors, keyless entry system. Among the optional equipment - DVD-navigation, electric sunroof and dimming rearview mirror.
The rotary engine of the latest generation is called Renesis. The peculiarity of this type of motor is that it has no cylinders or pistons or valves. They are replaced by a cylindrical combustion chamber and the rotor of complex shape, which rotates inside it. Renesis consists of two rotors, and thus is very compact. With the working volume of 1.3 liters it develops 232 hp, which shows that its capacity reaches the V6 level. However, such a motor is lighter than traditional “six” by 60%. The version with automatic transmission is slightly weaker - 212 hp. The engine is very high-rmp, the maximum torque of 216 Nm is achieved at 5500 rev / min. The motor can quietly and instantly reach 9300 rev / min, and the sound reminds the eight-cylinder units of race cars in “Formula 1”. The acceleration to 100 km / h takes 6.4 seconds, while the top speed is 235 km / h. It is not a very cost-effective car: in the urban cycle the fuel consumption is 15.7 l / 100 km, and in the country - 9.1 l / 100 km.
There is a good distribution of weight on axes - 50:50. This contributes to car’s refined handling and steering, close to neutral. The Electric Power Steering is well set. It is moderately steep and the car immediately responds to its turn. Even with disabled Traction control the coupe is easily controlled.
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