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North American International Auto Show 2001


Mazda RX-8
Mazda RX-8
Mazda RX-8

Mazda unveiled a new version of the rotary engine, simultaneously showing off a new concept car designed to use it. The Mazda RX-8 is very close to what a possible production car will look like; but Mazda hasn't announced plans to build it just yet.

This four-passenger sports car is powered by the new RENESIS rotary engine. Unlike previous rotary engines, which had side intake ports and peripheral exhaust ports, the RENESIS has intake and exhaust ports in the side housing. This setup eliminates overlap between the opening of the intake and exhaust ports, enhancing combustion efficiency. The intake ports are 30 percent larger, and their timing has been changed so they open sooner than in the older rotary engines. The RENESIS engine produces 250 horsepower.

One of the coolest features of the RX-8 is the "freestyle door system," which has eliminated the center pillar (a common theme at this auto show). This design makes it easy to get in and out of the rear seats.


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