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Japan:Mazda to Unveil Two-Seat Sports Car Concept and Hydrogen Rotary Engine


Mazda Motor Corp. has issued the following press release:

Mazda Motor Corporation zooms into the 2003 Tokyo Motor Show with the strongest line of production and concept cars in company history, including the world premier of the two-seat Ibuki concept, an open-top, lightweight sports car that hints at a possible design direction of a future Mazda Roadster. Joining the Ibuki concept on the stand are key environmental technologies being developed by Mazda such as the unique RENESIS hydrogen rotary engine.

Mazda 'Ibuki' concept

The Mazda Ibuki concept clearly showcases Mazda's current efforts in both design and technology as the development team works to further refine the company's famous lightweight, open-top sports car. The Ibuki concept (the name comes from a Japanese word that refers to "breathing new energy into" and "adding vigor") reaches back to its 1989 origins in is simple and clean design and hints towards one possible approach for a future Roadster/MX-5 model.

Powered by a MZR 1.6-liter, four-cylinder engine, the Ibuki concept successfully realizes a super front-midship layout (as also found in the Mazda RX-8) that places all major components within the wheelbase. Compared with the layout in the current Mazda Roadster/MX-5, the engine is positioned approximately 400mm further to the rear, while the air conditioner unit is located behind the seats. Thanks to the super front-midship layout, yaw inertia moment has been greatly reduced, enhancing further the level of pure, fun drivability-oneness between car and driver-that has been central to the Roadster's ongoing success.

Mazda RX-8 Hydrogen RE (Prototype)

This technological concept vehicle powered by the Mazda RENESIS hydrogen rotary engine is now undergoing running tests. The hydrogen version of RENESIS is the latest example of the company's efforts to satisfy the demand for both environment-friendliness and exhilarating performance. By making the most of the unique rotary-engine technologies, Mazda was able to develop this powerplant as one proposal for alternative-energy vehicle technologies aimed at a future hydrogen-based society.

In addition to direct hydrogen injection into the intake chambers via two electronically-controlled injectors per rotor, the Mazda RX-8 Hydrogen RE features a dual-fuel system allowing one-touch switching between either hydrogen or gasoline, promoting the car's versatility as a hydrogen fuel infrastructure is developed.

Other environmental-friendly features applied to the vehicle include a plant-based plastic for interior parts and an application of three layer wet paint system. Mazda is also presenting advanced technologies including a hybrid system with electric torque assist and start-stop technology, and a turbocharger with electric motor assistance-technologies that will contribute to future enhancement of hydrogen rotary engine performance.
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