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Japanese Programs about the Rotary
Submitted by SuperUser on Thursday, March 29, 2001 - 12:00am

I was sent some videos from Japan containing programs that aired last fall about the rotary. Two episodes of Project and one of Car Graphic TV, all in Japanese, covered topics like the RX-7 type RZ, the 4 Rotor 787b (Le Mans winner), and a history of Rotary Development at Mazda. I was able to capture the videos, and turn them into rather large MPEGS. Steve Cirian was helpful enough to host them at his website, Scuderia Ciriani. Thanks Steve!

  • Project X Episode 1 - segment 1 (60 MB)
  • Project X Episode 1 - segment 2 (44 MB)
  • Project X Episode 1 - segment 3 (24 MB)
  • Project X Episode 2 - segment 1 (60 MB)
  • Project X Episode 2 - segment 2 (45 MB)
  • Project X Episode 2 - segment 3 (21 MB)
  • Car Graphic TV - segment 1 ( 5 MB)
  • Car Graphic TV - segment 2 (26 MB)
  • Car Graphic TV - segment 3 (40 MB)

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Air taxi has a Moller-coaster ride
Submitted by SuperUser on Saturday, March 24, 2001 - 12:00am

WIDTH=134 HEIGHT=90>Glenn Butcher sent in another story from Australia, this one is about the Moller Skycar. The article does a good job explaining the Skycar, and the use of the Rotary Engine in the design. Moller estimates the sky car will be off the ground by the end of this year, however that is what they said last year, and the year before, and even back in 1991. It has been about a year an article about the Skycar has propped up, so it should be good reading for those unframiliar with the technology.

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From the cradle to the game
Submitted by SuperUser on Thursday, March 22, 2001 - 12:00am

WIDTH=104 HEIGHT=90> reader and supporter from the UK Glenn Butcher sent in this story from the Sydney Morning Herald. It is an interesting read about how the RX-8 is included in the latest version of Gran Turismo. Mazda was deeply involved with the development of the RX-8 car in the game.

Kids will be able to drive new cars before their parents now that car makers and computer companies have joined forces. Drive's Japanese correspondent, Peter Lyon, explains.

I've driven the radical Mazda RX-8 and can tell you it's unbelievable. One of the stars of [January]'s Detroit motor show, the petite four-door sports car is quick, has precise steering and excellent grip.

The gearchange could be better, but I shouldn't complain - after all, I have driven the car 18 months before it goes on sale. On Sony's latest PlayStation game, that is.

At the Detroit motor show last week, Mazda and Sony had a special display with the latest Gran Turismo 3, featuring the RX-8.

But why has Mazda allowed Sony such unprecedented access to a car that is such a long way from production? In the highly secretive car world, exactly who convinced who to join forces?

Read the full article for the answer. . .

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Mazda: 11 new products... How Many will be Rotary?
Submitted by SuperUser on Tuesday, March 20, 2001 - 12:00am

WIDTH=270 HEIGHT=90>In a speech today at the New York Autoshow, president Mark Fields said Mazda was "about to take one giant step toward relaunching Mazda." Over the next three years, the Japanese automaker will release 11 new products in North America and 9 in Australia. The RX-8 will be one of the new products in the lineup, but the real question is: what other cars will harness the power of the Rotary Engine.
There are at most 8 cars in the line-up that are not known. At least three of the new vehicles will share a powerplant frame with Ford cars, so they will not get rotaries. It is doubtful that a new Mini Van or SUV would get a rotary. However, Mazda has, in the past, placed the rotary in Luxury type cars like the 929 or Millinia. The 3 Rotor Mazda Cosmo is an example of this. Could the other vehicles in the lineup be a new RX-7, a Rotary Miata, and a Cosmo/RX-9?
In previous comments made at the Detroit Autoshow, Mazda said the next Miata would be designed with a clean sheet (or, now a days, new computer drafting file). We already know Mazda has experimented with the Renesis engine in the current Miata chassis, as well as the current Japanese only RX-7 chassis. It is unlikely these tests will turn into production vehicles any time soon, however.
Mazda engineers are working on refinements on the RX-8, taking into consideration all the comments that have been generated by attendees at autoshows, and enthusiasts on the web. The final production version of the RX-8 is sure to look different from the concept seen in Detroit, Geneva, and now in New York.
Mazda is sure to use the on-line Rotary Community in the future for market research, and testing. They will probably release design sketches of future concepts and production cars before their official debut.

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Rotary Quicknews!
Submitted by SuperUser on Monday, February 12, 2001 - 12:00am

First off all... yes, the RX-8 is on the cover of the March 2001 issue of Road and Track.
(Bill Stroup posted this
post in the Threads about it.) There are a few articles in there, one on pages 46-49 taking about the RX-8, the Renesis, and a
Miata test mule with a Renesis. Also included is a short interview with Philip Martins (same things he said in Detroit: RX-8's
platform may be used for the new Roadster and next RX-7). Later on pages 75-80, they have a great article on the 787B race car, the
only Le Mans winner from Japan, and the only Rotary to win also!

Next up: Ken Adams writes in "Downing Atlanta Mazda Kudzu wins class at 24 Hours of Daytona! The #63 Downing/Atlanta Mazda
Kudzu won the Sports Racer Prototype class at the 2001 24 hours of Daytona...Powered by a naturally Aspirated 2.6 Liter 4 rotor (3
plugs per rotor) built by Rick Engman. Drivers were-Jim Downing, A.J. Smith, Chris Ronson, and Howard Katz. The Downing car beat out
the Favorite Dyson Racing Ford powered Riley and Scott Chassis when the engine lost oil pressure and the Mazda took the lead. Good to
see a Rotory in Victory Lane in Daytona again!" See Downing Atlanta's website for a little
more info.

Third, a sighting of an FD in the new Hannabal movie. I normally don't post movie sightings here, but since this is a
quick-shots article, I'll post it up!

Fourth: a Miata with a 3rd Gen trivetrain is for sale up at Thanks to Richard Dekker for that link.

Next: The Save the Seven Campaign has reached 2000 letters to Mazda! Mazda has
contacted me in recent weeks regarding the letters, they have been reading them, and are really pleased there is this much support in
the community. They have asked for a list of email addresses in the database, and I have begun to weed out the bad emails, and asked
the existing people in the database if they wanted their email sent to Mazda. So far only 10-15 people have asked to be removed...
and 300 or so out of the 2000 emails are bad.

Almost done: Check out the updated Gallery Section for tweeks to images of the RX-8.

Seventh: There is a new supply of Plush 2nd gen TII Toy "Pillows" available.
Rare, cute, and a must have for any RX-7/Rotary enthusiast, or child who you hope one day will be into RX's as much as you are!

Finally, the sister website to, has been featured in the
March issue of Sport Compact Car. It was sighted as an excellent example of a
weblog...(what they call a blog). It's an honor to see a website only 6 or so months old to get in a magazine!

Update Just when you though the crazy quickshots were over... Kevin Wright writes in with: "There's a half-page article in the
2/27/01 issue of AMI Auto World Weekly, pg 4, titled "Mazda RX-8: Rotary Power Returns". Just a quicky article, with no more new info, but coverage
And Keith Hanna sends us this link to
another Road and Track "retro report on the amazing [rotary powered] Mercedes Benz C-111." Very cool.

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3rd gen RX-7 to Return?! (Rumors)
Submitted by SuperUser on Tuesday, January 23, 2001 - 12:00am

Running, I hear a ton of rumors about the return of this,
or they are putting a rotary in that, or they are going to release X many
rotaries next fall... etc, etc, etc. One of the rumors I have been
hearing quite consistantly for over 2 months now was a top level meeting
Mazda execs had about bringing the redesigned 3rd gen RX-7 back into the
US (see this article about the
redesign). If these rumors
are true, some retro-fitting of the RX-7 will need to be done to bring it
up to code for the 2001-2002 model year.

I will get to the bottom of these rumors, and report back any findings in
email I might get. In the meantime, visit Save the Seven and see if your
letter makes the difference.

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Interviews RX-8 Designer Shigeo HirataMazda Marketing Director Philip Martens
Submitted by SuperUser on Friday, January 19, 2001 - 12:00am

One of the best parts of the Detroit Autoshow was the opportunity to interview the designers of the RX-8, a Mazda/Ford Public Press Relations representative, and even the head of Marketing for Mazda North American Operations. Shigeo Hirata
is in charge of the interior and exterior design of the RX-8. As we talked through out the week (after the first interview) he updated us to the changes to the RX-8 he phoned in to Hiroshima from Detroit. The second interview with Philip Martens targets a little bit more of the car, and the marketing and production aspects of the '8. This is very interesting reading so I suggest you take the time to look it over, you might like what you hear!
Click on the full article for the interviews

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Final Report from Detroit
Submitted by SuperUser on Thursday, January 18, 2001 - 12:00am

With the Media days of NAIAS over with, and alomst a full week to digest what had transpired at the autoshow, Aaron Rinaca gives his thoughts on the Autoshow, the RX-8, and Mazda. Read his full report here

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Days 2-4 Detroit
Submitted by SuperUser on Thursday, January 11, 2001 - 12:00am

WIDTH=233 HEIGHT=90>The media days of the Detroit Autoshow are winding down. The media rooms
are almost empty, as the show prepares to open to the public.'s pipe to the internet is returning to a normal level, but
the level of activity this site saw on Tuesday makes it necessary for me to look for a new way of connecting this site to the internet to handle the type of load.

Over the next couple days, look for a full report from Detroit, more photos (this time with my 35mm, not el-cheapo Digital) and interviews with 2 of the designers of the RX-8, and the man responsible for Ford/Mazda/Customer relations. (very interesting interviews)

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RX-8 is here!
Submitted by SuperUser on Tuesday, January 9, 2001 - 12:00am

WIDTH=123 HEIGHT=90>In a press conference this morning, Mazda President Mark Fields unveiled the all new Mazda RX-8. After the press conference, Aaron Rinaca and I interviewed some of the head designers of the project, the results of that interview will come later this week.

Here is the press release, and here are some of the first photos of the RX-8. More news to come this week!

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