The Mazda RX-8's normally aspirated 1.3-liter engine might appear
diminutive to the untrained eye when compared to large-displacement
V-8s or heavyweight V-10s or V-12s. However, through the incredible
efficiencies of a rotary powerplant, an advanced three-stage
intake system and an electronic throttle, the RENESIS engine
delivers smooth, linear power on a grand scale.
The Mazda RX-8 benefits from placing the powerplant low and
far back in the engine bay in what Mazda calls an advanced front-midship
layout, which lowers the center of gravity and improves vehicle
balance. In addition, the fuel tank is placed ahead of the rear
axle, and all seating is within the wheelbase and track of the
car. Combined, these factors contribute to a perfect 50/50 vehicle
weight distribution, low yaw-inertia movement and superb handling
characteristics. With such excellent balance, it is little wonder
the RX-8 feels right at home on even the most challenging race
tracks or negotiating a tight freeway onramp.
The styling of the Mazda RX-8 is made up of taut muscular lines,
suggesting the look of an athlete in motion. The muscular design
maintains classic sports car proportions while adding a Zoom-Zoom
edge that is unmistakably Mazda. Integrated throughout the exterior
is the unique triangular rotor design, which clearly can be
seen in the front fascia, head lamps, hood and rear bumper valence.
RX-8ís exterior dimensions are virtually identical to the Porsche
911, yet it still manages to seat four adults and offers sufficient
rear-seat room to install a rear-facing child seat.