Mazda RX-8

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Mazda RX-8 (2003-2009)
Mazda RX-8 (2003-2009)
Production period: 2003-2012
Class : Sports car
Body versions : Coupe
Engines: Wankel :
1.3 liters
(141–170 kW)
Length: 4430 mm
Width: 1770 mm
Height: 1340 mm
Wheelbase : 2700 mm
Empty weight : 1390-1455 kg
Previous model Mazda RX-7
successor none

The Mazda RX-8 is a passenger car model built by the Japanese car manufacturer Mazda from early 2003 to June 2012 . It replaced the Mazda RX-7 that was discontinued in autumn 2002 .


The rotary engine in the RX-8 has the artificial name Renesis (composed of Rotary Engine and Genesis ). The special feature of this further development of the Mazda 13B engine are the side inlet and outlet. Until then, the outlet channels were routed through the trochoid housing. A not insignificant part of the badly burned mixture got outside. The side outlet prevents the undesired overlapping of the opening of the outlet and inlet ducts and thus suppresses the escape of unburned hydrocarbons . Instead, the residual gases are transferred to the next combustion cycle. The Renesis engine therefore does not require exhaust gas recirculation like most reciprocating piston engines .

The inlet ducts (two in the 192 hp engine, three in the 231 hp engine) are designed to be 30 percent larger than the predecessor and open much earlier. In return, the almost twice as large exhaust ducts (two instead of only one per rotor before) are released and closed with a delay. The result is a longer exhaust stroke and higher thermal efficiency, i.e. more power with significantly lower fuel consumption (30% less when idling, 20% less when in operation) and oil consumption (0.3 l / 1000 km).

The RX-8 has no B-pillars . The rear doors are hinged at the back. Mazda calls them Freestyle Doors . These can only be opened if the front doors are also open. This and the rotary piston engine distinguish the RX-8 from other sports coupés. The shape of the rotary piston is visible in the design of the bonnet and many equipment details. Kevin Rice , who became Creative Director at Mazda Europe in 2013, was also involved in the design.

The vehicle has a front mid-engine (engine between the axles but in front of the passenger compartment) and a rear-wheel drive connected by a carbon fiber cardan shaft . The weight distribution is almost 50:50% in the unloaded state. The engine is 30 percent more compact and lighter than in the RX-7 and weighs only 124 kg. The vehicle is equipped as standard with an electronic stability program called DSC (Dynamic Stability Control).

The front axle is designed as a double wishbone suspension, the rear axle is guided by a so-called multi-link arrangement .

The RX-8 is one of the few Mazda models that was not manufactured on a Ford basis at the time . The RX-8 platform continues to be used on the third generation Mazda MX-5 .

Since the revision in autumn 2009, the RX-8 was only offered with the 231 hp engine in Germany. With the mandatory introduction of the Euro 5 emissions standard , Mazda stopped importing to Europe at the beginning of 2011.

Technical specifications

There are two levels of performance. The engines only differ in the number of intake ducts:

The engine compartment of the RX-8, clearly recognizable the rotary piston shape of the engine cover
Engine type 2- rotor rotary piston engine ( Wankel engine )
Chamber volume 2 × 654 cm³ (cubic capacity equivalent: 1308 cm³)
power 141 kW (192 hp)
at 7000 min -1
170 kW (231 hp)
at 8200 min -1
maximum torque 220 Nm at 5000 min -1 211 Nm at 5500 min -1
maximum speed (red area) 7500 min −1 9000 min −1
transmission 5-speed manual transmission 4-speed automatic transmission 6-speed manual transmission 6-speed automatic transmission
Top speed 223 km / h 230 km / h 235 km / h 240 km / h
Acceleration, 0-100 km / h 7.2 s 7.3 s 6.4 s 6.5 s
Fuel consumption (according to ECE , combined) 10.8 l / 100 km 11.0 l / 100 km 11.2 l / 100 km 11.4 l / 100 km

In 2003 Mazda presented the first copy of the Mazda RX-8 Hydrogen RE . In this vehicle, the engine can be operated with either gasoline or hydrogen.

Special models

In addition to the equipment versions Renesis (lowest equipment version from 26,900 euros), Challenge and Revolution , several special models are available:

RX-8 special model Contest
  • The Contest version, offered at the end of 2005 and limited to 400 units, is based on the equipment of the 141 kW Renesis. It has 18-inch light-alloy wheels in a ten-spoke design, aluminum applications on the outside, on the air vents and the door sill trims in the interior. There are also leather-covered center console covers at the front and rear, as well as floor mats and a CD player. The price advantage was 3,400 euros.
  • The special edition Revolution Reloaded , freely named after the Matrix films , was available from April 2006. It is based on the equipment variant Revolution and has chrome-plated 18-inch alloy wheels and design elements of the same color in the headlights and rear lights. The interior is enhanced by a beige leather-Alcantara combination with red decorative stitching, steering wheel applications in piano black and a handbrake handle and gear knob in leather. The special model was available in three special finishes ( brilliant black , carmine red metallic or Haiti blue metallic ) and also has polished light metal rings around the fan openings and controls as well as the round instruments. The model only offered in Europe was limited to 1,300 copies, 600 of which were delivered to Germany.
  • The Kuro special model (Japanese for "black") based on the revolution was offered from April 2007 and was available in red or gray in addition to a special black paint finish. As with the Revolution Reloaded , the Kuro has chrome-plated 18-inch alloy wheels and design elements of the same color in the headlights and taillights. In the interior there is a beige-gray leather interior, a leather steering wheel and handbrake lever, as well as applications in piano lacquer look. In addition, the shift knob has a silver look and a white shift pattern. With a price advantage of 2,630 euros, only 250 vehicles with the 170 kW engine were offered in Germany.
  • 40 years after Mazda presented its first vehicle with a rotary engine with the Mazda 110 S Cosmo , another edition model of the RX-8 called 40th Anniversary was released in early 2008 for the anniversary , which was first presented at the IAA 2007 in Frankfurt. This limited edition of 350 pieces model for 35,100 euros based on the RX-8 Revolution was offered in conjunction with the more powerful engine, a Bilstein sports suspension, and four finishes (in Germany: Arachneweiß metallic, Kronosgrau metallic and Tornado Red Metallic and Brilliant Black ). In addition to 18-inch alloy wheels, the design of which was used for the 2009 facelift, and blue fog lights, a badge on the fenders identifies the special version, which is limited to 350 pieces. Inside there is a leather steering wheel with applications in piano lacquer and decorative stitching in contrasting colors, black leather seats with gray Alcantara seat centers as well as a leather gear knob and handbrake handle with a white shift pattern.
In Great Britain, the rear spoiler from Prodrive, which was already used in the PZ special model, was also taken over and the badges inserted on the side were replaced accordingly, and stainless steel door sills with integrated special model number were used.
In the USA and Canada, only the body color Metropolitan Gray Mica was available and the interior was kept in Cosmo Red Leather.
In Japan, the special model was only available in the worldwide exclusive Marble White analogous to the original Mazda Cosmo Sport and was limited to 200 pieces. The rim design, however, corresponded to that of the conventional models, but in dark silver.
In contrast to the rest of the world, European versions did not have a silver-colored engine cover. A total of 800 units were produced for the European market, of which 400 right-hand drive vehicles for Great Britain with 200 units each in Metropolitan Gray Mica and Crystal White Pearl and 400 left-hand drive vehicles for Germany (324), Spain (56), Switzerland (8), France ( 7), Belgium (3), Portugal (1) and Czechoslovakia (1) in the colors Brilliant Black (169), Metropolitan Gray Mica (169), Velocity Red Mica (40) and Crystal White Pearl (22).
  • The special model SPIRIT R , which appeared at the end of production, was only available in Japan. With the introduction of this model, the RX-8 was only available as a Type G model with an electronic 6-speed automatic transmission. Based on the RX-8 Type RS (with manual 6-speed shift) and Type E (with electronic 6-speed automatic shift) , the SPIRIT R comes in two different versions with an exclusive seat design, red brake calipers and colored light alloy wheels that either bronze-colored in 19 inches (manual shift) or in metallic blue-gray with 18 inches (automatic shift). In addition, the model with automatic transmission has a sports suspension and larger brakes. Depending on the model variant, the seats are either special Spirit R bucket seats from Recaro (manual shift) or black leather seats with red stitching (automatic shift). Leather and decorative stitching continue over the steering wheel, handbrake lever and armrests. Both variants have applications in piano black on the transmission tunnel in common. Added to this are the head and side airbags that are otherwise only available as an option in the basic equipment. The SPIRIT R was offered in the colors Aluminum Metallic , Sparkling Black Mica and Crystal White Pearl Mica (for the model with manual gear shift for about 310 euros). The purchase prices in Japan amounted to the equivalent of around 32,000 euros for the manual version and 30,800 euros for the automatic version.


Mazda RX-8 (2009-2012)

After six years and 167,000 copies sold worldwide, the RX-8 received a facelift in early 2009. Mainly this concerned the optics and the chassis, while the technology was only slightly changed. Only the higher power level with 170 kW and the Sports-Line equipment line with complete equipment were available as motorization . The model presented at the Detroit Auto Show 2008 was already available in advance in the USA and was also introduced in Europe in autumn 2009. In 2010, however, the RX-8 was only registered 42 times in Germany before imports were discontinued at the end of the year due to stricter emissions regulations.

At the front, wider headlights, a larger grille and new bumpers with higher fog lights were used, making room for 50% larger oil cooler air intakes. These allow the oil temperature to be 6 ° C cooler at top speed. The previous cooling air openings behind the fenders were now smaller and have integrated side indicators. The side overhangs on the lower bumper have been aerodynamically optimized. Furthermore, a rear spoiler was mounted on the trunk lid and the rear apron was changed, and the diameter of the rear silencer was increased to 90 millimeters. The clear glass rear lights now have two round lamps in LED technology. The light alloy wheels have also been redesigned. In the interior there is a new center console with a display that has been moved up and ventilation nozzles, including a new radio with Bluetooth support. The steering wheel and the seats, which should allow more space in the rear, have also been redesigned.

The tachometer has a variable red area that changes depending on the engine temperature. The rotary piston engine received an electromagnetically driven pump as well as an optimized and enlarged oil pan instead of the mechanical oil pump for more needs-based oil supply. In addition, a third, centrally located oil metering nozzle has been added to each rotor. The six-speed gearbox received an optimized synchronization.

For the purpose of body rigidity, the new model (as with the 2003 model) has a strut brace in the front of the car, which is now trapezoidal. To reduce noise and vibrations, the geometry of the rear axle and the drive shaft have also been optimized. The steering and the standard Bilstein dampers have been readjusted.

Also new is the sports package called R3 , which continued the line of R packages that were offered for the predecessor RX-7. It includes a sports suspension with Bilstein dampers, a spoiler package and fog lights. There are also forged 19-inch light-alloy wheels in anthracite gray, light and rain sensors, an AUX input, a Bluetooth-enabled 300-watt Bose sound system with voice control for the hands-free system and Recaro sports seats.

The special model Spirit R , available from November 24, 2011, heralded the end of the production era, just like the predecessor RX-7. After a production extension of 1,000 copies in April 2012, the last copy of the RX-8 left the Mazda plant in Hiroshima on June 22, 2012.

192,094 vehicles had been built by the end of April 2012, a successor model was not announced. The Mazda RX-8 is for the time being the last production vehicle powered by a rotary engine. This ends the 49-year history of the rotary piston engine as a power source for cars for the time being.

Registration numbers

Between 2003 and 2010, 9,462 Mazda RX-8s were newly registered in the Federal Republic of Germany. 2004 was the most successful sales year with 4,146 units.

Individual evidence

  1. a b c Mazda RX-8 RENESIS - revolution of the rotary piston. Mazda press release, accessed February 5, 2020 .
  2. ^ Lewandowski, Jürgen: Mazda RX-8 . 1st edition Delius Klasing, Bielefeld 2003, ISBN 3-7688-1396-7 ( [accessed on February 5, 2020]).
  3. from October 28, 2013, Kevin Rice new Creative Director at Mazda Motor Europe , accessed on September 23, 2018.
  4. a b Mazda's bravest model. Retrieved April 12, 2019 .
  5. FAZ Technology & Engine: Mazda RX-8: Farewell by law
  6. a b c Richard van Basshuysen, Fred Schäfer (Ed.): Handbuch Internal Combustion Engine, 8th edition, Springer, Wiesbaden, 2017, ISBN 978-3-658-10901-1 . P. 487
  7. a b c d e f g It continues to wobble. Retrieved April 12, 2019 .
  8. Auto-News online edition of November 21, 2005: " Mazda RX-8 Contest: Special Edition of the Wankel Sportsman "
  9. Auto-News online edition of April 7, 2006: " Mazda RX-8 Revolution Reloaded: Luxurious special model "
  10. Auto-News online edition of April 12, 2007: " Not only in black: The special model Mazda RX-8 Kuro "
  11. Save for the anniversary. Retrieved April 12, 2019 .
  12. Mazda RX-8 "40th Anniversary": Ambassador for the revolutionary rotary piston engine. Mazda Motors (Deutschland) GmbH, March 25, 2008, accessed February 4, 2020 .
  13. Auto-News online edition of March 27, 2008: " Special Edition Mazda RX-8" 40th Anniversary " "
  14. [RX-8 Rotary 40th Anniversary Brochure UK, Mazda Part No. MCAG1068 09/07]
  15. [Mazda RX-8 Brochure USA, Part No. 9999-92-RX8-08]
  16. [News Release Mazda Motor Corporation from August 8, 2007: Archived copy ( memento of the original from February 25, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. ] @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  17. ^ [Mazda Electronic Parts Catalog 03/11]
  18. a b News Release Mazda Motor Corporation of October 7, 2011: Mazda RX-8 SPIRIT R Coming to Japan in November 2011
  19. Brochure / equipment list “Mazda RX-8” (status: August 2009) Mazda Motors (Deutschland) GmbH
  20. Kraftfahrt-Bundesamt - Press / Public Relations - New registrations of passenger cars by segment and model series in December 2010. Accessed on June 8, 2017 .
  21. Dieter Günther: Wankel coupe Mazda RX-8: Farewell by law . ISSN  0174-4909 ( [accessed April 12, 2019]).
  22. Auto-News online edition of January 13, 2008: " Wankel obliges: Light facelift for the Mazda RX-8 "
  23. a b News Release Mazda Motor Corporation of April 26, 2012: Mazda Extends Production of Special Edition RX-8 SPIRIT R
  24. News article on from June 28, 2012: Mazda's Final Rotary Engine Roll off of the Assembly Line, Maybe for Good

Web links

Commons : Mazda RX-8  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files