Tokyo, Japan, Jan. 20, 2004 - (JCN Newswire) - Mazda Motor Corporation's
revolutionary rotary-powered, four-door, four-seat sports
car has been named the 2003 Car of the Year by the Australian-based
Wheels* magazine. Final results of the annual award were announced on
January 20, 2004.
Now in its 41st year, the Wheels Car of the Year is the world's oldest
continuously-running new car award and Australia's most coveted
The Mazda RX-8 was awarded the Wheels prize ahead of 28 eligible
vehicles. Eight expert judges spent six days driving the cars over
thousands of kilometers at a proving ground and on public roads. The
winner was selected by secret ballot.
"The Mazda RX-8 represents the birth of a new and worthwhile category of
car," said Wheels editor Ged Bulmer. "The RX-8 has achieved a genuine
sports coupe experience, complete with four doors and four seats, thanks
to a daring, ingenious design. It's good looking, clever, great to drive
and a worthy winner of the Wheels Car of the Year."
Mazda Motor Corporation President and CEO Hisakazu Imaki said, "The
Mazda RX-8 is the fruit of great effort and passion put forth by the
entire Mazda team, from R&D and manufacturing to sales and marketing. It
offers customers the driving pleasure and technical innovations they
expect from Mazda, including a rotary engine. Receiving the 2003 Car of
the Year award from Wheels magazine is a great honour for Mazda, as it
is proof that our new-generation products, including Mazda6, Mazda2 and
Mazda3, are broadly appreciated in all global markets. The RX-8 is
Mazda's brand icon. It embodies everything that is great about this
company. And our efforts will continue: Mazda will strive to put its
collective effort into creating fun-to-drive, 'Zoom-Zoom' products."
To date, the Mazda RX-8 has been named RJC Car of the Year 2004,
2003-2004 Japan Automotive Hall of Fame Production Car of the Year, and
the 2003-2004 Japan Car of the Year 'Most Fun' special award. In
addition, the RENESIS, which powers the RX-8 and is the only mass
production rotary engine in the world, was named International Engine of
the Year 2003 and RJC Technology of the Year 2004.
Mazda has regularly enjoyed Wheels Car of the Year success. Mazda has
won the award five times, making it the most successful full-line
importer in the Australian market. Past winners were the 323 in 1980,
the MX-5 in 1989 and the 626 in 1983 and 1992.
* Wheels magazine is Australia's biggest selling general interest
motoring magazine and has a readership of 507,000 per issue, making it
the country's second most widely read men's magazine.
About Mazda Motor Corporation
Mazda Motor Corporation was established in 1920 and is one
of Japan's leading automobile manufacturers. With its headquarters in
Hiroshima, Mazda has two plants in Japan and manufacturing and assembly
operations in sixteen other countries. Mazda cars and trucks are sold in
more than one hundred and thirty countries. Ford Motor and Mazda agreed
to collaborate in 1979, Ford Motor Company started investing in Mazda
and increased its shareholding to 33.39% as of March 31, 1999.