June 5, 2003

Mazda’s Renesis rotary engine named “International engine of the year”

Irvine, California – Mazda’s new Renesis rotary engine, the engine powering the new Mazda RX-8 sports car, was named “International Engine of the Year 2003” in a ceremony at Engine Expo 2003 in Stuttgart, Germany.

Mazda’s RENESIS also captured the top spot in two additional categories, “Best New Engine of 2003” and “Best 2.5-liter to 3.0-liter.” The International Engine of the Year is selected by a majority vote of 50 motoring journalists from 22 countries around the world. Judges from the US included editors from leading enthusiast magazines, as well as respected industry analysts. All current production engines from automakers around the world are judged in areas such as drivability, performance, economy, refinement, and the successful application of advanced technology. There are 12 categories in all, including the grand prize, International Engine of the Year.

“From our first application of rotary technology in the 1967 Cosmo Sport, to the only rotary-engine win at Le Mans, in 1991, Mazda has never given up on this technology,” said Nobuhiro Hayama, executive officer and general manager of Mazda’s Powertrain Division, in accepting the awards. “That persistence, that devotion to engineering fundamentals, is the hallmark of the engineering spirit and heritage at Mazda. And it is that spirit which drives our company’s resurgence today.” Added Jim O’Sullivan, president and CEO, Mazda North American Operations, “The RENESIS marks a return to Mazda’s rotary roots in the US. From the 1970 R100 coupe to the RX7 which departed our shores in 1995, the rotary engine has been Mazda’s sales and engineering trademark. When the RX-8 goes on sale in July, the sound of Mazda rotaries humming down the road will once again return.” The RENESIS engine will power the Mazda RX-8 when it arrives in showrooms in July.

The US-specification RX-8 is officially rated at 247 hp at 8,500 rpm and 159 lb./ft. of torque at 5,500 rpm for manual transmission cars and 207 hp at 7,200 rpm and 164 ft./lb. of torque at 5,000 rpm for automatic transmission cars. In addition, the car will meet California low-emission vehicle specifications for those states that require it, and Federal Tier 2 certification for all others.

“Mazda’s International Engine of the Year Award success is a remarkable achievement,” said Graham Johnson, editor of Engine Technology International magazine and Chairman of the Awards. “The judges are hugely impressed by the RX-8’s smoothness, refinement, performance and eco-friendliness. Indeed, 44 of the judges voted for this rotary engine to become International Engine of the Year 2003 – a new Awards record. Mazda can rightly state that it produces the finest automobile engine in the world.”

The Renesis engine is unlike any other internal combustion engine in the world, and Mazda is the only company in the world mass-producing rotary-engined production cars. It performs the four processes of intake, compression, combustion, and exhaust in succession by turning a triangular-shaped rotor in a cocoon-shaped combustion chamber to generate the engine power. Compared to traditional internal combustion engines, it is significantly smaller and exceptionally smooth and high revving.

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