Mazda New Zealand will showcase its rich heritage in the world of performance racing with two of its most celebrated legacies – the rotary engine and its involvement in the Le Mans 24 Hour race – featuring at this year's CRC Speedshow.
This year marks a milestone for these key elements of Mazda's history – 2012 spells the end of an era for the iconic Mazda Wankel rotary engine and the recommencement of the company's participation in Le Mans with its new Skyactiv-D clean diesel engine.
On display at the 21 to 22 July running of CRC Speedshow will be the last in that long line of Mazda rotaries – the new Mazda RX-8 Spirit R. A refresh to the Mazda RX-8, the RX-8 Spirit R is Mazda's way of paying its tribute to the brand that has been such a success for the company over the past 40 years.
Andrew Clearwater, managing director of Mazda New Zealand, says: "The RX-8 Spirit R incorporates a host of upgrades from the standard model, including sport tuned suspension, larger brakes, Recaro bucket seats, head and tail lights unique to the model and a number of finishing touches to the interior that make it a premium driving experience to rival all others.
"It is of no surprise that it was another Mazda rotary, the Mazda 787B, which delivered the company its greatest success on racing's world stage – the 1991 Le Mans title. To date, this remains the only victory by an Asian manufacturer at the prestigious race, and is a moment in history that Mazda is looking to replicate next year with the announcement that its Skyactiv-D clean diesel engine will be available to Le Mans 2013 teams," says Clearwater.
The engines will be racing versions of the Mazda Skyactiv-D 2.2-litre diesel four-cylinder, dual-stage turbocharged power plants, and will provide outstanding performance and fuel economy coupled with the durability and reliability needed in endurance races.
To celebrate the announcement, Mazda New Zealand will be displaying a new Mazda3 MPS kitted out in the design of 1991's winning Le Mans car.
CRC Speedshow takes place at the ASB Showgrounds in Auckland over the weekend of 21 and 22 July. Dubbed 'a world of speed', the annual car, motorbike and motorsport extravaganza features world record holders, new cars and motorcycles, classics, race cars and the hugely popular Ezybuy Car Auctions live action arena. The 2012 show also incorporates the New Zealand Hot Rod Association 50th anniversary national hot rod show and will again attract thousands of visitors from all over New Zealand and overseas.
Tickets are available at the gate and the latest show news is updated on the website, www.speedshow.co.nz.