Customer orders for Mazda¡¦s all-new RX-8 sports car, on sale from July 1, have almost doubled in the past month.
Orders for Mazda¡¦s rotary-powered flagship, which is priced from $56,170 for the 184 kilowatt, six-speed manual model, have jumped from 100 to 178.
And demand is expected to increase significantly in coming weeks with the four-door, four-seat RX-8 sports car making its debut today at the Melbourne International Motor Show.
Mazda Australia management expect firm orders to jump above 200 by the middle of March and reach at least 400 by July.
The managing director of Mazda Australia, Malcolm Gough said: ¡§The reaction to the RX-8 has been overwhelming, with customers placing orders in response to the glowing press reports the car has received from the global media launch in California.
¡§Mazda has also been satisfying demand from prospective customers for RX-8 information by releasing product details on our websites -- www.mazda.com.au
and through a comprehensive direct marketing campaign.
¡§Having the car on display at the Melbourne motor show will provide a great opportunity for a significant number of potential buyers to see first hand this unique sports car¡¨.
The number of people seeking information on the RX-8 has increased since January, with the amount of ¡¥hand raisers¡¦ jumping from 1500 last month to more than 3000.
Mazda Australia is expected to receive only 900 RX-8s this year and the car is likely to be sold out for at least the first three months on the market.
¡§With the car in such strong demand we have been encouraging buyers to place firm orders so that the right models, colors and transmissions can be delivered as quickly as possible. This can be done with the help of their local dealer¡¨, Gough said.
Initial orders also show that the majority of buyers are in the 40 to 50 year old age group and many see the RX-8 as a way to own a sports car while still being able to use the car day-to-day to carry family, friends or work clients.
¡§The four-door, four-seat RX-8 rewrites the sports car rule book. Sports cars no longer have to be all about compromise, the RX-8 offers great dynamics with room for four adults and a decent-sized boot,¡¨ Gough said.
¡§Its packaging is so efficient that we expect that the RX-8 will also tempt sports sedan or sedan-based coupe buyers that have been lusting after something more exotic¡¨
All RX-8 models come standard with an impressive list of standard features including 18-inch alloy wheels and tyres, traction control, DSC dynamic stability control and six-airbags.
Priced below the luxury tax threshold, the $56,170 manual and $57,000 automatic, also include cruise control, power windows and mirrors, a limited slip differential, six-disc in-dash CD player and air conditioning with automatic temperature control.
Buyers can also option a Leather Pack that includes leather seat trim, High Intensity Discharge (Xenon) headlamps, a Bose sound system, power-operated driver¡¦s seat, front fog lamps and on manual models, drilled aluminium pedals.
The Leather Pack models are priced at $62,610 for the manual and $63,280 for the automatic.
So far about 90 per cent of orders have been for Leather Pack models with manual transmission.
A sports car like no other, the four-seat RX-8 is powered by an all-new, compact RENESIS rotary engine that ensures great performance, improved fuel economy and low emissions.
Redlined at 9000rpm, the 654cc x 2, fuel injected rotary engine produces a remarkable 184 kilowatts of power and 216Nm of torque at 5500rpm when mated to a six-speed manual gearbox. The engine passes Euro Stage III emissions standards.
The automatic model, which features wheel-mounted gearshift paddles, develops 154kW at 7200rpm and 222Nm at 5000rpm.
Manual models accelerate from 0-100kmh in about six seconds.
The ultra-compact rotary engine allows a front mid ship engine layout, enabling the RX-8 to be the only sports car in the world to offer genuine accommodation for four adults.
Unrestricted rear seat access is provided by a Freestyle door system, with the front and rear doors opening from the centre of the car.
The front doors are fully opened at a hinge angle of about 70ndegrees and rear doors at about 85 degrees. The absence of centre pillars allows a surprisingly large door opening, making entry and exit supremely easy.
For a sports car, the boot also boasts ample space, swallowing as much as 300 litres of cargo.
To realise the RX-8¡¦s exceptional sports car driving performance, engineers employed all-new body architecture incorporating a very rigid underbody frame and cabin reinforcements to give the RX-8 a body that, in terms of rigidity and low weight, surpasses those of sport sedans of the same wheelbase.
Use of the advanced front midship layout, location of the plastic fuel tank between the rear wheels and other measures assure an ideal 50/50 fore-aft weight split.
The suspension is all-new. At the front the car uses an in-wheel type double wishbone set up, while at the back the RX-8 employs a new multi-link (five links per side) system.
Additionally, the RX-8 is equipped with a newly developed rack-drive electric power steering that transmits just the right amount of road information back to the driver.
Stopping power is provided by large-diameter ventilated front disc brakes that are controlled by ABS with EBD.
Mazda designers have used the latest computer techniques along with crash test data to assure world-class safety levels for both frontal and offset collisions. The RX-8 comes standard with dual front, front side and curtain air airbags.