At the Tokyo Motor Show in October 1999 Mazda Motor Corporation unveiled to an expectant crowd the RX-Evolv, a concept vehicle which later evolved into the RX-8 four door, four seat sports car which was unveiled in January 2001.
This was at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit, and then into the production model that appeared at the October 2001 Tokyo Motor Show.
Both the Evolv and the RX-8 had many things in common, not the least of which was the latest version of the rotary engine called “RENESIS.”
RX-8 will deliver excellent handling, performance, safety, interior space and luggage space in a new generation four-door sports car.
The RENESIS engine makes it possible.
“RENESIS” stands for “The RE (Rotary Engine)’s GENESIS”, or the rotary engine for the new millennium.
Like the MX-5 and RX-7, the RX-8 employs a closed section power plant frame to enhance rigidity.
Developing the RENESIS, the aim was to retain power output on a par with the turbocharged 13B-REW, the rotary engine that powers the RX-7, while offering improved fuel economy and reduced emissions.
The RENESIS engine is improved from the 13B rotary engine used in the RX-7. Refinements include positioning the exhaust and intake ports on the side housing, separate from the rotor housing. This reduces overlap between the opening of the intake and exhaust ports, stabilizing combustion. At the same time, it enables the intake port to be enlarged, increasing engine rotational speeds and power output to levels never-before achieved with a naturally aspirated production rotary engine.
Other refinements, including thinner, lightweight rotors, thicker eccentric shaft, and a three-port, three-stage variable intake system, contribute to the engine’s maximum power output of 177kW at 8,200 rpm, maximum torque of 211Nm at 5,500 rpm and a 10,000 rpm redline for the 6 speed manual and a maximum power output of 141kW at 7,000 rpm, maximum torque of 220Nm at.5,000 rpm for the activematic.
A new, compact wet-sump oil lubrication system, making use of the unique layout of the output shaft, and a thin oil pan contribute to the engine’s lightweight compact design, which allows the engine to be located lower and further to the rear than ever before.
For rotary engine enthusiasts, the next exciting phase in the great engine’s history has already begun.
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