L, Wankel rotary
The RX-Evolv which Mazda trotted out at the 1999 Tokyo
Motor Show was the concept car which was eventually to
become the hugely successful Mazda RX-8.
The Rx-Evolv was essentially a coupe but unlike all other
coupes it had four doors. The front doors opened in a
conventional manner while the back doors were rear-hinged
to provide better access to the rear seats.
Up front the Mazda RX-Evolv featured a forward hinged
clamshell hood which opened to reveal a 1.3 litre Wankel
rotary engine which developed 276 horsepower. This was
mated to a six-speed sequential gearbox which sent the
power to the rear wheels.
Back in 1999 the Mazda RX-Evolv looked very futuristic
and almost too radical to go on sale due to the unusual
door arrangement, unique powerplant and advanced styling.
However when it did finally go on sale as the RX-8 it
was exactly these features which made it a hit and the
car is sure to be a future classic thanks to its strong
identity and quirky character. And that's on top of its
strong performance and practical (for a coupe) layout.
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