Mazda celebrates rotary revolution at Goodwood Festival of Speed
Filed under: News
Mazda will display an eclectic mix of 11 past, present and future vehicles at the Goodwood Festival of Speed (22-24 June) as it celebrates the 40 th anniversary of the ground-breaking rotary engine. Visitors to the retro-themed Mazda stand will see the cars that have helped make Mazda Britain’s favourite sports car brand, and discover the evolution of rotary‑powered Mazda models over four decades – from the 1967 Mazda Cosmo Sport 110S, through to the Le Mans winning 787B and Mazda RX-7, to a special edition Mazda RX-8 40 th Anniversary Concept.
Festival visitors can soak up the Mazda ‘Zoom-Zoom’ experience when a special edition Mazda RX-8 Kuro sprints up the iconic hill climb as part of the Supercar Run. Visitors can also get a glimpse of the future at the Technology Pavilion, where the Mazda Hakaze design concept of a compact crossover coupe will be displayed.
“At Goodwood we will celebrate Mazda’s heritage and offer a unique perspective into our evolving model range, including yet-to-be-launched production models, exciting design and engineering concepts,” commented Rob Lindley, managing director of Mazda Motors UK.
“Our proud sports car range will be on display including the iconic Mazda MX-5, Mazda RX-8 sports coupe and Mazda3 MPS superhatch that have given us the status as Britain’s favourite sports car brand – with one in every five sports cars sold being a Mazda.”
Festival previews two new Mazda models
Two new additions to the range will be previewed on the Mazda stand. Firstly, the all-new four‑wheel drive Mazda CX‑7 Sports Crossover vehicle, which is available from September. CX-7 will be a highly-specified model equipped with a 260ps turbocharged petrol engine, priced from £23,960 (on‑the‑road). Mazda has created a dedicated Mazda CX-7 Pre-Order Website ( www.cx-7order.co.uk) where buyers can reserve their new car now.
Secondly, the all-new Mazda2 due on sale in September. Approximately 100 kilograms lighter than the current model, the all-new Mazda2 will be one of the most fuel efficient vehicles in its class when it arrives in the UK. As well as substantially improved occupant and pedestrian safety performance, the all-new Mazda2 offers stylish design and the promise of excellent manoeuvrability and exhilarating driving dynamics.
Celebrating 40 years of the rotary engine
To celebrate 40 years of the rotary engine Mazda has created a special edition Mazda RX-8 40 th Anniversary Concept.
Along with the 1967 Cosmo Sport 110S, Mazda 787B Le Mans 1991 replica and the Mazda RX-8 hydrogen concept for the future, the Mazda RX-8 40 th Anniversary Concept is a modern-day interpretation of a rotary-powered Mazda to complete the Goodwood line-up. Displayed in Crystal Pearl White, the car has a unique spoiler and interior, special edition wheels, blue front fog-lights, anniversary badging and uprated suspension.
Future fuel – hydrogen power for RX-8
Mazda’s commitment to building lighter, more fuel efficient vehicles is further demonstrated at Goodwood in the form of the ‘Mazda RX-8 Hydrogen RE’ incorporating a dual-fuel system enabling it to run just as well on hydrogen as on petrol. Mazda has a goal to protect the environment without sacrificing its Zoom‑Zoom values of dynamism and driving pleasure; hence the decision to choose the route of a hydrogen-powered rotary engine in a sports coupe model.
In 2006 Mazda delivered RX-8 Hydrogen RE vehicles to its first two corporate customers – the world’s first leasing of an internal combustion engine passenger car that can use both hydrogen and petrol.
The evolution of rotary power
Mazda’s rotary heritage is showcased at Goodwood by the Cosmo Sport 110S, which was launched in 1967 as the world’s first twin-rotor rotary engined car. Its low, streamlined silhouette and futuristic body styling took advantage of the compact rotary engine, and defined the start of the rotary engine era for Mazda, thrilling customers everywhere. In July of 1968, an improved version of the Cosmo Sport went on sale, featuring an uprated 128PS L10B rotary engine. A maximum speed of 125mph and acceleration that covered 400m from a standing start in 15.8 seconds excited sports car fans all over the world.
After the launch of the Cosmo Sport, Mazda produced a further 17 rotary powered vehicles over a 24-year period to 1991. These included several high-performance ‘RX’ models, a Rotary Pickup for the North American market and even a deluxe rotary powered bus in 1974.
The third-generation Mazda RX-7, launched in December 1991, featured a powerful and responsive 13B-REW rotary engine with Sequential Twin-Turbo. Developed as a pure sports car, it pursued the ultimate in driving pleasure. Facelifts came in 1996 and 1998, and the maximum output of the engine was boosted to 280PS.
The 1991 launch of the Mazda RX-7 coincided with the famous Mazda victory at Le Mans. After 16 years of racing involvement at Le Mans over 21 years, the Mazda team entered three cars powered by greatly improved R26B four-rotor engines. At 4 o’clock in the afternoon of 23 June 1991, the 787B passed the finish line, achieving Mazda’s long awaited target to win the coveted 24-Hour Race endurance race.