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Rumors: Supercharged MazdaSpeed RX-8 in MotorTrend
Submitted by SuperUser on Friday, February 13, 2004 - 10:30am

Motor Trend is exactly a year behind the times. But thanks to all those who wrote in about the article. In MT's March 2004 issue, they report that there will be a supercharged RENESIS in the Mazdaspeed version of the RX-8. We, at RotaryNews.com first speculated about a boosted version of the RX-8 a year ago... exactly, In our popular "Predictions and Speculation" story!



We also revisited the issue again just before the Tokyo Autoshow... Giving the idea of a Supercharged Mazdaspeed RX-8 a 3 out of 5 star chance of appearing at the show. We wonder if Motor Trend reads this site?

But, what it means when it is printed in Motor Trend is that the program is fairly far along, far enough along that they allowed them to print it... Given past history as a guide, I'd say we are looking for it a debut in 8-12 months (SEMA?), and 14-18 months from now before it is available at your local Mazdaspeed dealer.

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subject:
2003 or 2004
author:
No Rotor
date:
December 31, 1969 - 4:00pm
This article was in the March MotorTrend issue of which year? It's says 2003, but I'm thinking it's the recently released 2004.
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subject:
Oops
author:
No Rotor
date:
December 31, 1969 - 4:00pm
Oops .. type-o.. should read 2004.

Article has been corrected.
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subject:
No title supplied
author:
No Rotor
date:
December 31, 1969 - 4:00pm
Dan:

A have spoken and exchanged e-mails with many RX-7 owners.

The thread was why not Supercharge a rotary engine?

I have read the article above and there seems to be a very high probability of a SC renesis engine in the near future.

I know the current rotary is a more sophisticated engine than my '85 13b but all but one of the replies was that SC was tried and not successfully. Is that myth or was it not a successful method of power enhancement on earlier rotary power plants.

Phil
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subject:
Admin 2
author:
No Rotor
date:
December 31, 1969 - 4:00pm
Phil,
There have been challenges to SC'ing a rotary in the past. Most of the issues had to do with the inefficiency of the basic SC systems available. Certain roots type SC's, although applied successfully in certain situations, have been less than optimal across the rotaries rev range, and even less at the rotaries motors elevated rev range. The older centrifugal SCís, although more efficient than the standard roots type SC, were still challenged by the rotaries rev range. In the last few years developments of SC systems, especially of the centrifugal type, and a rethinking of the use of the actual use of the SC, have come along to help match the characteristics of high revving motors. This is to say, not necessarily trying to provide boost (extra power) in all situations, but the strategies seem to suggest an enhancement and some expansion of the actual motors power curve. A good example would be the Comptech/Vortech SC system for the Honda S2000. That kit does not necessarily try to boost the low end, of an undoubtedly soft low end motor, but it enhances the rest of that engineís strong higher rev range punch. Iím speculating here, but I think Mazda is going to take a very similar strategy in SCíing the 8.

A reason Mazda is considering a SC over a turbo, is all of the emissions issues associated with boosting a rotary. Although turbo systems have proven themselves as the best option for power building, in rotary engined powered vehicles, the associated thermal and emissions systems for such a system, I think, does not make its development viable in a small MazdaSpeed program format.

NOTE: There is a huge debate in the Rotary community about SCíing and turboing a rotary. This small explanation in no way tries to give a definitive answer to all of this debate in this small space.
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subject:
No title supplied
author:
No Rotor
date:
December 31, 1969 - 4:00pm
I read the article (or another like it on the Mazdaspeed 8) and it mentioned that the engineer they spoke to talked about the possibility of a hydraulic turbocharger. Basically, the engineer said they were exploring several different options regarding boost and were definitely working to get more power in later models. They also quoted him as saying that the 8 was a model intended to have a long lifespan between generations and there would be many improvements and refinements yet to come. He called the current car "just the beginnning".

I find that pretty exciting. I also think it was a very good strategy, getting the car's basics solid and as close to perfect as possible while leaving room for improvement. It makes a lot more sense than kitbashing something together that may not be as good down the road. (Mustang anyone?) The time they spent getting the fundamentals right will pay big dividends over time as they continue to tap the potential of the car.

I'm kinda liking the idea of a hydraulic turbo, myself, if it proves feasible. All the power advantages of turbocharging over supercharging (low-end power, please, this car needs it!) while avoiding the emissions problems that exhaust-driven turbochargers create.

I think the car, and the engine, has an exciting future ahead of it. I can't wait.
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subject:
A little info
author:
No Rotor
date:
December 31, 1969 - 4:00pm
I check out rotarynews on occasion. The Mazdaspeed version people in North America are talking about may be different or a much future rendition of what Mazda would be offering through MS. Just in case, the link below shows the latest Mazdaspeed version that I reckon already sold out here in Japan.

http://www.mazda.co.jp/customize/rx-8msv/

The significance of the above version is not that it is charged. They were asking for 3.6M yen, that's almost a full million yen above the top-of-the-line 6-speed, for a version that take for example, came with a lighter flywheel, an enhanced exhaust system, together with a computer mapped for that. Other things were exterior panels ala Mazdaspeed, tuned suspension, braces, brakepads and so forth. Available in 2 colors.

What's confusing is that Mazda already has a mechanically improved version out now(see above link) but information dealing with some form of charging seems to be floating around more across the Pacific Ocean.

It is true that tuners here in Japan are testing superchargers and turbochargers but the only mention of x-charging that I have read in publications here deals with 'the possibility' of electronically-assisted power systems that would thicken the low-end torque while still designing the engine to whirl for power at higher ends without being hindered by the charging system itself.

But most of this stuff would still require Mazda to collect more data on how the standard Renesis fares over the next couple years or so. Maybe by then they would have come up with some healthy and viable options to resurrect something powerful enough to live up to the RX-7 name, be it one form of charging or another. But that does not rule out however, that any powerful version will not come out on the RX-8 body either.

I myself am now waiting for the next RX-7 which is rumored here to come out around 2007, the 40th anniversary for production rotaries here in Japan. By then, I guess some version of RX-8 with power bumped up must definitely have been introduced and that may be the version being spoken about as of late in North America. I guess someone would have to check with them folks at Mazda R&D at the next 'rotorfest' in fall. I can't wait to find out.
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