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Turbo RX8
Submitted by seaeaglemoun... on Tuesday, January 17, 2006 - 4:18pm

Maxda's new turbo toy

Mazda turbo RX-8
Can do: Mazda turbo RX-8 built by Mazda Australia's Motorsports team
Should Mazda build the RX-8 turbo?

* Read what others have to say

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14 January 2006

Kevin Hepworth

Of course it's black... what other colour would suit your turbo RX-8? Oh, that's right — you can't get a turbo RX-8 from Mazda and you're not likely to any time soon.

Bad luck.

Mazda, Japan that is, says it cannot be done. Mounting a turbo on the RX-8's rotary powerplant is all too much trouble; something to do with the clearance between the exhaust and the front suspension.

Heard that before? Of course you have — that's pretty much what Japan said about turbocharging the MX-5.

Somebody over there should get the message that it's not a good idea to tell Mazda Australia's Motorsports team that something isn't possible. All that does is make it more imperative. This one took Allan Horsley and his (small) team a little longer and, unlike the MX-5 prototype, which ended up becoming the limited run MX-5 SP, there doesn't seem to be any future for an RX-8 Turbo.

Shame about that because it is a special bit of kit. "It is a complex exercise and not one that is going to go any further," Mazda Australia's Alastair Doak says.

"It is — like the Mazda2 Extreme rally car — a bit of fun and a chance to utilise the technology and expertise we have on hand in Australia. We had hoped to race it somewhere but knew that because it was a one-off we would run into homologation problems and that has been the case."

Horsley would be happy to see the RX-8 Turbo Extreme wearing an SP badge and settling into a limited number of garages around Australia but accepts that, for the moment, that is just dreamland.

"It's not an SP, it's an Extreme — and that's for a reason," Horsley says. "SP is for cars we are going to make and sell. It took a fair while to do and there were a couple of things that were a little complex but the end result could have rolled off a production line."

Horsley says that while the RX-8 Extreme's mission statement was for motorsport, one of the things the team worked hard on was making it refined enough to be a daily drive.

"We could have left it lumpy and with all the rough edges that you accept in a racecar but this is a bit more special than that," Horsley says.

It certainly is.

The key to the RX-8 Extreme is just how un-stressed everything is ... and that includes the driver.

From around 2500rpm there is urge to burn in almost any of the six gears at little more than a tickle of the right foot. It gets serious when you top 4000rpm and keeps the attitude right through 7000rpm. It just wants to go.

The raw figures are reasonably impressive without being extreme — 270kW from its turbo-fed rotary and about 350Nm of torque — but the smoothness of delivery and the seamless urge through the rotary's expansive rev range is the cream.

With a 0-100km/h sprint of 5.7 seconds and a standing quarter time of a tick under 14 seconds the RX-8 Extreme can hold its head up in most company — and it still boasts one of the best rear-drive chassis in the business.

With the Extreme's modified suspension, what was good is now grand. The ride is still refined without the skittish edge the base car has approaching limit.

The cabin is exactly the same as the standard car — no need to change that — and the feeling of belonging is stronger than ever.

The input to arrive at the final outcome was surprisingly basic — it was more about making the right choices rather than particularly complex ones.

Horsley had a Garrett GT30 turbocharger mounted and wound the boost to a fairly conservative .5 BAR. A custom-made intercooler was one of the more complex additions along with an upgraded radiator and race-standard hoses and fittings.

Resisting the urge to spoil the RX-8's lines with a letter-box opening in the bonnet, Horsley settled on a pair of discreet flat vents mounted just in front of the windscreen.

Engine-management is handled by a tweaked standard computer without any piggybacking chips.

The car has been lowered slightly with retuning of the suspension to suit the 19-inch alloys.

Larger Alcon racing brakes have been fitted and for cosmetic value a nose cone and aggressive rear wing have been added.

Will the RX-8 Extreme ever be seen in a competitive event? Possibly — and that would be nice to see.

Will it ever go into production? Unlikely, and that really is a shame.

The Daily Telegraph


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Turbo RX8
August 9, 2009 - 7:45pm
This is a really nice website you have built. Check out my turbo rx8 blog at for more detailed information about turbo charging the Mazda RX8!
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