The world’s first petrol-engined car was introduced in 1886, and just a few years later in 1894, the world’s first auto race took place over about 130 kilometers between Paris and Rouen. By that time, the automobile had already established itself as the means of transportation for the age, as people discovered the entirely new feeling of freedom that comes with motoring. The sports car has always been synonymous with unadulterated driving pleasure; its birth and evolution, as well as the popularity of motor sports, seem deeply rooted in human instincts and romanticism. In other words, the pleasure of driving is not inherently the sole preserve of a select few. Instead it is a basic value demanded by the overwhelming majority of car-buyers.
Virtually all of the world’s auto manufacturers have built sports cars of one kind or another. Some lack comfort and functionality, while others are extraordinarily expensive and targeted at an elitist few. Rarely has there been an answer to the demand for a sports car that is also suited to the needs of a broad spectrum of customers. Mazda’s history of sports car design and manufacture began in 1967 with the Cosmo Sport. The car was powered by a rotary engine in whose development the company invested its faith, and even its life-blood. In the years since, Mazda has continued to refine its concepts and technologies to make the sheer delight of driving a sports car more accessible to the majority of drivers. In 1968, Mazda’s Cosmo Sport made its debut in the gruelling “Marathon de la Route” endurance race at the Nurburgring. The car gained 4th position overall and signalled the beginning of Mazda’s continuing involvement in motor sports.
The RX-7 first appeared in 1978, and matured into the second-generation version in 1985. In 1989, Mazda brought out the MX-5/Miata, a lightweight, open-top roadster that married traditional sports car values with the latest technology and succeeded in becoming hugely popular throughout the world. The third-generation RX-7 was unveiled in June 1991, while on the circuit, the 4-rotor MAZDA 787B became the first Japanese car to gain overall victory in that year’s Le Mans 24-hour endurance race.
Our determination to offer an increasing number of car buyers the unique pleasure of the sports car is what has consistently fuelled our design and manufacturing over the years. The RX-7 was a thoroughbred sports car and the MX-5/Miata a lightweight roadster, both developed according to the values of their respective categories.
Mazda continues this development tradition with the RX-8. In addition to stunning sports styling and dynamic performance, the RX-8 comfortably accommodates four adults, making it a completely new form of sports car poised to win the hearts of drivers worldwide. With the RX-8, Mazda is writing a new chapter in sports car history, realizing fresh values for the sports car genre in a new 4-seater format, to answer the demands of sports car enthusiasts.