Mazda releases end of line RX-8 Spirit R final edition

October 10th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Rotary fans worldwide took the news hard that Mazda was killing off its RX-8 without word of a successor – but now there is a small silver lining.

Mazda has just announced that it is releasing a final special edition of its RX-8 which could be the final rotary production cars ever built. Named the RX-8 Spirit R, this very collectable special edition will be limited to just 1,000 units, with sales in the Japanese domestic market only.

The Spirit R nameplate is familiar being also used for the final edition of the RX-7 and the RX-8 version will be sold in two variants – a six-speed manual version based on the RS model and the other with a six-speed auto based on the Type E model.

After it launches the Spirit R and the auto-only Type G will be the only RX-8 models on sale in Japan with production ending fully on June 12th, 2012.

Naturally, the Spirit R receives some special touches like an exclusive Recaro bucket seats and bronze 19-inch alloy wheels. Special equipment includes a sport suspension set-up, larger brakes with red calipers, new front headlights and Spirit R badges. Continue reading “Mazda releases end of line RX-8 Spirit R final edition” »

Mazda’s top designer wants to create new RX-7

March 15th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Ikuo Maeda, Mazda’s big cheese in the design studio was recently responsible for penning the new Mazda2. Previously he designed the RX-8, and the Kubura concept (pictured) but most interestingly it was Maeda’s father that created the original Mazda RX-7. Now, Maeda has spoken out about his desire to bring the RX-7 back to life, saying “I do have a strong yearning to revive the RX-7 during my tenure.”

Rotary enthusiasts globally would like nothing more than for Mazda to bring back the 7, but apparently other top Mazda officials are less interested, asking “Why go backwards?”

For many at Mazda the excessive warranty claims make the RX-7 not the fondest of memories, if there’s a next time it should be done right.

For it to have any chance at all, Maeda claims Mazda will need the U.S. economy to come back, first and foremost. Until then, keep your fingers crossed.

Mazda at work on RX-7 replacement

October 21st, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

There’s been a lot of speculation about a Mazda RX-7 revival recently but it still seemed like the next-generation, rotary coupe was never going to happen. Now, Mazda’s new design chief, Ikua Maeda, has given us all a new injection of hope when he said in a recent interview that initial sketches have been completed and he’s campaigning Mazda to bring the new sports car to market.

The reborn RX-7 will likely be powered by Mazda’s next generation Renesis 16X rotary engine, most recently used in the Mazda Taiki concept (pictured), it’s 1.6-liters in size and makes use of a longer stroke, direct injection and aluminum side housings. Power output hasn’t been disclosed, but it’s safe to assume the new engine will dish out around 250 to 300 horsepower and some decent torque, while boosting fuel economy and keeping emissions low for the future.

Maeda said the new RX-7 will move further upmarket than its predecessors, with a focus on higher interior quality. The new RX-7 will probably be priced with this in mind.  Whatever the case we hope a hardcore, track-focused version is on the cards too. If things go to plan the new RX-7 could be in concept form as early as next year.

Mazda at work on RX-7 replacement

October 21st, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

There’s been a lot of speculation about a Mazda RX-7 revival recently but it still seemed like the next-generation, rotary coupe was never going to happen. Now, Mazda’s new design chief, Ikua Maeda, has given us all a new injection of hope when he said in a recent interview that initial sketches have been completed and he’s campaigning Mazda to bring the new sports car to market.

The reborn RX-7 will likely be powered by Mazda’s next generation Renesis 16X rotary engine, most recently used in the Mazda Taiki concept (pictured), it’s 1.6-liters in size and makes use of a longer stroke, direct injection and aluminum side housings. Power output hasn’t been disclosed, but it’s safe to assume the new engine will dish out around 250 to 300 horsepower and some decent torque, while boosting fuel economy and keeping emissions low for the future.

Maeda said the new RX-7 will move further upmarket than its predecessors, with a focus on higher interior quality. The new RX-7 will probably be priced with this in mind.  Whatever the case we hope a hardcore, track-focused version is on the cards too. If things go to plan the new RX-7 could be in concept form as early as next year.

Mazda’s hydrogen powered rotary goes to Norway

October 17th, 2008 by Darren Cottingham

Mazda RX7 Hydrogen fq

Mazda Motor Corporation announced today that is has introduced the Mazda RX-8 Hydrogen RE (Rotary Engine) vehicle to Norway’s public roads in collaboration with the Hydrogen Road of Norway, (HyNor) project. This marks the first time that a Mazda hydrogen rotary vehicle has been put into regular use on public roads outside Japan.

HyNor is a national project in Norway that aims to establish a clean energy transport system based on hydrogen fuel. Beginning in the fiscal year 2009, Mazda will provide approximately 30 RX-8 Hydrogen RE vehicles for the HyNor project under commercial lease contracts.

The RX-8 Hydrogen RE validation vehicle is being delivered in advance so that Mazda and HyNor can jointly assess its driving performance in Norway. It will also be exhibited at environmental and other events for potential customers who are interested in leasing a hydrogen vehicle.

“Up to now, real world use of Mazda’s hydrogen rotary vehicles has been limited to Japan.  Participation in the HyNor project marks our advancement to the next stage,” says Akihiro Kashiwagi, Mazda Program Manager in charge of hydrogen RE development. “After we validate the first vehicle on Norwegian roads, we intend to deliver 30 more units under commercial lease contracts.”

HyNor is a unique Norwegian initiative to demonstrate the implementation of a hydrogen energy infrastructure along a 580 km route from Oslo to Stavanger in Norway. Hydrogen filling stations are being established along this transport corridor to enable refuelling of hydrogen vehicles. The project aims to revolutionize transportation in Norway by encompassing buses, taxis and private cars, and varying types of transport systems, including urban, inter-city, regional and even long-distance transport.