Mazda Celebrates the 40th Anniversary of the Rotary Engine Vehicle
Today marks the 40th anniversary of Mazda’s first rotary engine powered vehicle. As of the end of April 2007, Mazda has manufactured approximately 1,970,000 rotary vehicles since production first began. On May 30, 1967, Mazda commenced sales of the world’s first dual-rotor RE car, the Cosmo Sport. Following this, Mazda introduced other RE vehicles to the market, including the Familia Rotary Coupe, Savanna, RX-7 and Eunos Cosmo.Mazda began its involvement in motor sports in 1968, following the release of the Cosmo Sport, when RE cars started participating in car races. In 1991, the Mazda 787B rotary engine made history when it became the only Japanese car ever to claim victory at the Le Mans 24 hour endurance race. Additionally, with over 100 wins in both the touring car series in Japan and in the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) series in the United States, Mazda RE-equipped racecars have enjoyed a glittering record of success.
The MAZDA RX-8 sports car was launched in April 2003. It is powered by the new generation, naturally-aspirated RENESIS rotary engine, which is more compact, powerful and environmentally friendly than its predecessors. Britain’s specialist technology magazine, Engine Technology International, awarded the RENESIS its coveted International Engine of the Year award in 2003 as well as successive awards for its engine class in 2003 and 2004, to show its high regard for this engine.