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Mazda's official position on the MazdaSpeed RX-8
Submitted by Dan Mazzella on Thursday, October 21, 2004 - 3:40pm

If you haven't heard the buzz yet, Road-&-Track's SPEED Magazine, hitting stores on the 26th, features an article by Editor Sam Mitani on Mazda's project Mazdaspeed RX-8. RotaryNews has known about this car for a while, in fact it was scheduled to be displayed at SevenStock 7, but an agreement with Road-&-Track kept it behind the roll up doors at the event. So, now that the cat is out of the bag, and after speaking to Mazda, this is what we have for you (click through to read on): This is a development project that members of Mazda's R&D team have been working on. Because our engineers also happen to be enthusiasts, they're never completely satisfied and they're always tuning and developing vehicles one step further. This car is not for general sale now or in the future. We're not ready to confirm when - or even whether - a MAZDASPEED version of the RX-8 is coming. We're always looking to improve the power, styling and drivability of our vehicles in each successive generation, and we're certainly looking at ways of adding the MAZDASPEED-DNA to RX-8, but we are not ready to talk in more detail about it. Mazda touched on some details about this particular car, though...

  • It is supercharged. Because of the location of the exhaust ports in the RENESIS rotary engine, it doesn't respond in quite the same way to turbocharging as earlier rotaries. Our team thought they'd experiment with supercharging for this project car.
  • Virtually everything on the car is custom-designed and built, including the bodywork, interior trim, suspension and exhaust. Our R&D team saw this project as an opportunity to take the RX-8 as far as they could, while still maintaining its streetability."
So, there you have it. Look for more rumors, predictions, and lies soon, as we will be covering SEMA, the 1st week of November.

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subject:
the Supercharger is of particular interest
author:
date:
November 3, 2004 - 8:28am
it seems to me that Mazda can come up with any excuse it wants to ensure that they keep this motor as cheap as possible, being that the biggest threat to it is cost (not fuel economy, or emissions, or popularity, as many would suggest). anyone who believes that the side port exhausts really make that seriously large a difference when it comes to how well a turbocharger can function in association with the 13BMSP is in serious need of some education. but aside from the excuse, i whole heartedly support mazda's drive to continue to reduce and control costs for this motor, but i think honesty would be a better policy.

with Mazda's nearly complete separate line of products coming out of their Mazdaspeed stable, i know that a mazdaspeed RX-8 is entirely necessary for it to retain its image as a performance car, and not appear as a wishy washy half way peppy sedan. it doesn't matter if the car costs $8 000 more, has no options, only two colours, and far less creature comforts than the other models of RX-8, people will buy them, all of them.

as far as comments on things like styling, please please PLEASE god, Mazda, do NOT fall into the manufacturer rice trap. non functional hood scoops are not cool (a la Dodge SRT-4). they look horrible. y'know what?? rather than that gawdawful thing, put the original RX-8 Show Car louvres that've been missing for the last 3 years onto the MazdaSpeed RX-8, that would be hot. i like the new front peice of the new kit, very remenicent of the series 9 RX-7, and a headlight treatement would be cool (but of course not entirely necessary as this is a point of focus for personal modification, usually, for the people this car has a market with).

being that the RX-8 is so image laden with the rotor, i think it would be fitting for the MS RX-8 to have the same level of intensity when it comes to styling for the Mazdaspeed (have a few high visibility interior bits in carbon fibre, or in aluminum grey rather than black, change the colour of the LEDs backlighting the gauges, etc), just in small, tiny ways, with the normal embroidery on the floormats and badges on the dashboard.

this car could be a hit. this car is something that the mazda wankel needs. it cannot be seen as a motor which has missed its potential.
oh, and another thing, quit screwing around with the fuel ratios: move the goddamned catalyst further to the rear of the car and tune it right.
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subject:
I like that 8 but in general
author:
No Rotor
date:
November 2, 2004 - 10:39pm
I like that 8 but in general terms screw a mazdaspeed-8, every other carmaker releases an /m or amg-like factory tuned version. Instead make Mazdaspeed's approach to the RX-8 more owner-friendly and tuner-friendly. The idea being people who want to tune the 8 themselves will find it much easier than if they bought another car, and people who don't want to tune it themselves can go to the aftermarket tuners, who with active support and paid consultation by mazdaspeed can affordably but profitably price their products for relatively higher volume, with better performance than the nissan's and honda's. For mazdaspeed, no warranty, emissions, corporate fuel consumption averages to worry about, but support is there for owners should failurs occur

For instance I would be very interested to hear a mazdaspeed engineer or actual RENESIS engineers' views on how FI should be implemented in the 8, and I'd be willing to guess many other owners and tuners would be interested in that too. However a longshot this may be, I think it's worthwhile for mazda to pursue making mazdaspeed a firm that is as service-based as it is product-based.

The prototypical example I have is the stock ECU, which is very complex. This is understandable from a corporate view but makes it very difficult to tune. Why not release information about it to increase the general understanding of how the ECU exactly works, what maps it uses for what conditions, etc. Presumably the stock ECU is programmed as optimal as possible for stock, so how could there be objections based on proprietary knowledge.

Other related mazdaspeed suggestions
Crate engines
race rotors
spec racing series and even autocross series.
technical seminars, driving seminars, etc.

The ideal Mazdaspeed-8 shouldn't be a single kit. In my book it should be an RX-8 custom, the perfect car for however the owner wants it for all the owners. Mazda's already in this direction, I'm just arguing for more.

End Rant.

As far as the car, I like it. Not enough power (275 at flywheel?), but that's ok. Bodykit looks great, hood scoop looks great, wheels look great. Color not so great. looks like an unpainted 1/24 plastic model. or shiny underwear with shades. at least in that picture. Put a racing stripe on it and its good to go. better rear than stock, too. So release the bodykit, but change approach to engine mods
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subject:
MS RX8
author:
No Rotor
date:
November 2, 2004 - 8:24pm
I have owned many wankels in my life and consider myself a true addict to all things rotary. You won me back with the introduction of the RX8 and I bought an 04 RX8. But you have to understand that the current demographic are ones that grew up around force fed rotaries. I want the same joy I once had in my 93 Rx7 or my tenth anny. I am not displeased with the RX8 do not get me wrong, but I have come to expect more from the moniker. We have a beatiful car in the RX8 but are left with dismal options when it comes to increasing hp to respectable levels. Build us a car that embodies the potential and spirit of the RX7 in the shell of an RX8. And I guarantee you I will camp out at my local dealership through hell or high water for the chance at ownership.
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subject:
I want a supercharged 8!
author:
No Rotor
date:
November 2, 2004 - 5:32pm
All I have to say is...

Build a supercharged RX-8, and I will buy it!!!

Dan, Wanting a FI RX-8, USA
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subject:
RX-8: almost perfect, needs more juice!!!
author:
No Rotor
date:
November 2, 2004 - 5:27pm
I think the current RX-8 is pretty solid overall, but lacking in the power department. Mazda would have a new customer right here if they build a car similar to the concept in "SPEED" magazine!
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subject:
Supercharged RX-8
author:
No Rotor
date:
November 2, 2004 - 7:49am
If the numbers are right, I will probably trade in my S2000 for it...that's how much I like my NA RX-8 and the looks of the white MazdaSpeed RX-8!!!! I'm ready to be an all Rotary family if this is made.
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subject:
Let Us Buy it!
author:
No Rotor
date:
October 31, 2004 - 3:17am
Supercharge it (love the rotary hood scoop) to about 300HP, lighten car more w/aluminium panels, lighter wheels, tighter (adjustable) suspension, lower it, and make a dash we can put our own stereo in, then let us buy it!
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subject:
RX-8 SC
author:
No Rotor
date:
October 29, 2004 - 3:59pm
I gotta have it nooooooooow!!!!!
Nuff said
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subject:
Very Satisfied!
author:
No Rotor
date:
October 29, 2004 - 8:35am
If you build it, they will buy it. We need a forced induction rotary back in the USA to compete in the market.
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subject:
Two Pennies
author:
No Rotor
date:
October 28, 2004 - 11:39am
My concern was also the same as to increased cost ratio to increased HP. I think it might be nice instead to try increasing the size of the rotors first, then consider FI. If $7K only = 25 HP, then 238 + 25 = 263 HP for what is essentially, a 1/4 cost of a new RX-8. Now, granted, previous talk of an electronic-assisted SC was interesting and I would like to see a version, be it MS or a later iteration of the '8 with FI, hit 300HP, but I think testing should start with displacement volumes... perhaps 1.3L bumped up to 1.6,7 or 8L?

Obviously, engineering a 3-rotor version of the Renesis is a challenge for Mazda developers to deal with rather than executing a lengthy discussion here, but perhaps a trial of systematic progression up the NA to FI ladder, i.e. 1st: larger rotors for displacement, 2nd: Sequential/Parallel TC, 3rd: SC'ing as we've seen here. Then begin a combination of systems, Larger rotors + Sequential TC, then Larger rotors + Parallel TC, then Larger rotors + SC, and so on.
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subject:
Remove the back seats
author:
No Rotor
date:
October 27, 2004 - 6:13am
Do a true enthusist's version. Remove the back seats and make into a storage area. Heck you can keep the ISO anchors for kid seats (that all you can really fit in the back seats anyways.) No power seats, no power windows, no radio/speakers, no A/C, and no sunroof. Thin rear windows and if you really are going to do a bodykit, make it out of light weight composites. For heavens sakes give us a lightweight flywheel!!!

Move the battery to where the backseats use to be. I like to making cars light weight to improve quickness all around. Get the car down to 2400-2500 lbs. and just add about 20 to 25 more HP. You got a winner.
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subject:
Numbers game.
author:
No Rotor
date:
October 27, 2004 - 2:23am
We need more HP for the RX - 8 and I can see that the word or drive has got out to all MAZDA and non MAZDA RX - 8 owners. GO MAZDA and MAZDASPEED!!!
~Gilbert
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subject:
Exciting news for RX8 fans!!
author:
No Rotor
date:
October 26, 2004 - 9:10pm
The RX8 is a great car, no doubt about it. But it has the potential to be that much better with further tuning. The biggest complaint people have about the car now is its lack of power (especially in the low-end).

Give the RX8 more power, refined handling, more aggresive ratios and Mazda's flagship car could set the standards (performance and everyday drivability) for other sports cars in its class. Cmon Mazda!! Don't disappoint ur customers!
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subject:
rx8 not rx7
author:
No Rotor
date:
October 26, 2004 - 8:45pm
ms version of the 8 i say make it lighter, stiffer, give it ~20 more hp. by freeing up cat back (yes louder) maybe messing with port triggering or ram air setup. Lightweight rims, mazdaspeed body kit, ect Keep it n/a, keep it the image of rotary reliabilty. Save forced induction for the 7 when it comes out. or cough cough 3 rotor. make the rx7 over the top, rx8 is perfect for what it is. The funnest way to get from a to b, with a bit of economics. rx8 was never meant to be the rx7's replacment
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subject:
1/4 times
author:
date:
October 26, 2004 - 4:32pm
make the 1/4 times a bit better. the main problem people have is that the car is lacking in speed. if you want it to sell its 1/4 time needs to have at elast another .5 seconds shaved off (13.5)
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subject:
Keep it light weight
author:
No Rotor
date:
October 26, 2004 - 2:07pm
- Keep the car light weight. Personally I'm more interested in a NA version that is lightweight.
- Keep it well balanced.
- Keep the tight feel of the car. The RX8 is like a pair of jeans, it fits so perfectly on me.
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subject:
IMO
author:
No Rotor
date:
October 26, 2004 - 1:15pm
Hopefully, since you guys are keeping a tight lid on this development you have going on..., you're looking into a POSITIVE DISPLACEMENT supercharger...i think I speak for the majority of the RX-8 community here..but we need more power throughout the entire RPM range...enough with the 7500+RPM boost range...if the idea is to keep it still streetable and marketed towards the enthusiasts..i believe you would be best off using positive displacement over the cheaper less efficient centrifugal...just my opinion...i say "do it, do it!"

XeRo
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subject:
Offer the S/C as a Mazdaspeed option you can purchase seperately
author:
No Rotor
date:
October 26, 2004 - 1:12pm
It goes without saying, build the car, that said, for those of us with 8's already, please offer the S/C kit as a standalone option.
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subject:
BUILD IT!!!
author:
No Rotor
date:
October 26, 2004 - 11:52am
Dear Mazda:

If you build a supercharged RX-8, and price it around 33K (US Dollars), I will sell my Nissan 350z IMMEDIATELY, and PURCHASE the SC'd 8.

When I test drove the 2004 RX-8, I wanted to purchase the car, but the lack of midrange power deterred me from making the buy.

If you fix this one issue I have with the RX-8, I am all over it!

Sincerely,

Jason Thomas
CA
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subject:
RX-8 Needed Additions
author:
No Rotor
date:
October 26, 2004 - 11:44am
What I want in the RX-8...
1) Retuned Suspension (ie. Stiffer, less body roll, less understeer)
2) Unique exterior (new, more agressive front bumper, rear and side)
3) More power to compete with competition (Prefer NA but FI will do)

This RX-8 should target the sports car enthusiast which would give up ride comfort for extra performance, mpg for extra power, noise level for lighter weight and extra power. Oh, don't forget the brakes for the increase in power.

What the current RX-8 Model line up is missing is a sportier model and this model would fill that void. What we have now are different trim classes but we need a different performance class. (ie. Subaru has the regular impreza WRX but it also has the STI for those enthusiasts)
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subject:
We want this car!
author:
No Rotor
date:
October 26, 2004 - 8:14am
This idea follows the line of Mazdaspeed Protege, Miata and now 6. Please make this car. If it is ready by 2008, I will be ready to trade. There are 30,000 RX-8 drivers out there waiting for this with baited breath. We know Mazda will not disappoint!
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subject:
build it
author:
No Rotor
date:
October 26, 2004 - 7:19am
I recently have read the article in the speed magazine about the new rx8 and I am very excited. You should defenently put it into production, and also sell the parts to current rx8 owners. That is crucial, I already have and rx-8 and want to put those parts on my car.
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subject:
Produce it
author:
No Rotor
date:
October 25, 2004 - 9:32pm
Please make all the parts available for purchase also, I want the body kit even if you do not produce the car.
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subject:
you HAVE to build it
author:
No Rotor
date:
October 25, 2004 - 7:16pm
I really want an RX-8, but I have been holding out on buying one because I knew you guys would build one with more power. I really want to own one of these! The styling is also pretty good. If you do build it, make sure you keep the light-weight handling feel. To be truthful, I would prefer even better handling over power. I think that's what an RX car is all about.
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subject:
You must build this car!
author:
No Rotor
date:
October 25, 2004 - 6:40pm
Here’s my wish list for a US-spec Mazdaspeed RX-8:

- Make it fast (~300 hp+), so the RX-8 will take a back seat to nobody. But make it reliable please (not another FD)!
- Keep the weight as is, or even lessen it if possible. Don’t lose that lightweight feeling!
- Love the body kit on the white prototype and the hood scoop is cool! Fog light treatment needs a little work, as does the rear end.
- Prefer a head light treatment like the Ferrari 360 Modena with a body colored backing. Don’t care for the black out look. But smoked covers on the rear lights would be cool.
- Don’t need to mention the handling, ‘cause I know Mazda/Mazdaspeed will get that right.
- Would like to see a racier interior with Mazdaspeed bucket seats and carbon fiber trim. Would also like to see a more snazzy Mazdaspeed shift knob, the current one is so plain & boring.
- Oh, and one last thing, bring back a special edition yellow mica color for this car, so I can trade mine in.

If you build it, they will come...

I originally posted this same comment on the rx8club forum.

Regards,
RX-Hachi
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