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Cars > Mazda > Mazda RX-Evolv Concept 2000

 By Ketan Patel View Comments

Image Copyright: Mazda

Mazda RX-Evolv Concept 2000

DETROIT, January 11, 2000 - While everyone seems to have their own definition of the term "sports car," one of the most common is of a two-seater possessing dynamic capabilities (acceleration, handling and braking) exceeding those of a conventional four-door sedan. In short, sports cars have room for the driver and one passenger, thus limiting their practicality and market appeal. Mazda aims to stand this conventional thinking on its ear with RX-EVOLV concept car, a rotary-powered four-door true sports car that promises to be the next big thing in sports cars. The RX-EVOLV makes its North American debut at, not coincidentally, the North American International Auto Show, which runs from Jan. 15 - 23 at Cobo Hall in Detroit. With the RX-EVOLV, Mazda takes the sports car to its next evolutionary level, offering room for four full-size adults in a compact, high-performance, four-door package. With its potent new rotary engine, front mid-ship layout, four-wheel independent suspension and ideal 50/50 weight distribution, the RX-EVOLV is Mazda's vision of the sports car for the next millennium.

Rotary Engine Heritage

An integral part of Mazda's revolutionary engineering heritage has been the company's nearly 40 years of experience with the rotary engine. Mazda is the only automobile manufacturer in the world that offers a pure rotational internal combustion engine. Mazda's rotary engine heritage includes the first rotary-powered car, the 1967 Cosmo 110 Sport, the original RX-7 sports car (1979), and the only Japanese sports car to have won the renowned 24 Hours of LeMans endurance race, the Mazda 787B (1991).

280 hp at 9,000 rpm

The "RENESIS" rotary engine in the RX-EVOLV represents the potential that Mazda believes lies within this unique powerplant. The "RENESIS" (Rotary Engine GENESIS) twin-rotor engine delivers a potent 280 horsepower, the highest output ever achieved by a normally aspirated rotary engine, and revs to an astounding 10,000 rpm. This performance is the result of the "RENESIS" engine's side port layout and lighter rotors, which also contribute to its increased fuel efficiency and reduced emissions. Once again, Mazda's diligence and dedication to the rotary engine has paid off with new breakthroughs that ensure the future of this unique engine.

Front Mid-Ship Layout

The significance of the RX-EVOLV extends far beyond its engine, however. The layout and design of the car also hint at Mazda's future direction. Due to the compact size of the "RENESIS" engine, the RX-EVOLV uses a front mid-ship layout, with the engine located behind the front axle, putting equal weight over the front and rear wheels. Access to the engine is provided by an innovative two-piece clamshell hood, hinged at the front as well as the rear.

Micro-HID Headlights

The wheels of the RX-EVOLV are pushed out to the corners of the vehicle, providing short overhangs and a long wheelbase. At the front, a chrome Mazda brand symbol sits just above a stylized five-point grille opening. Extremely thin and tiny Micro-HID (High Intensity Discharge) lights reside in the narrow grille opening.

Twin-Bubble "Aero Wave" Roof

The RX-EVOLV's sense of stability is enhanced by its wide stance and pronounced wheel arches. The greenhouse is separated from the rest of the car by a strong shoulder line, and the roof incorporates a variation on Mazda's twin-bubble "Aero-Wave" roof found on the third-generation RX-7 sports car. The rear roof pillar is reminiscent of the first-generation RX-7. The dual round taillights incorporate two round elements, long a hallmark of Mazda sports cars.

Freestyle Door System

The interior of the RX-EVOLV is no less revolutionary than its powerplant or exterior design. The four-door layout provides exceptional access to the interior. The unique "Freestyle Door System" means there is no center pillar to interfere with ingress and egress. The front doors feature a double action hinge - the door first extends out and forward, then rotates to open. The rear doors open to the rear and swings out 90 degrees for full access to the rear seats.

Four Bucket Seats

The RX-EVOLV features four individual bucket seats with leather-trimmed bolsters and breathable mesh inserts. Not only are they extremely comfortable and supportive, but they also take up less space than conventional seats, allowing more room for the occupants. A fold-down child seat is built into the passenger-side rear seat. A strong central backbone runs through the cabin between the seats from the instrument panel to the cargo area.

Formula-One Type Shifting

The instrument panel is driver oriented, with two large pods housing the tachometer and speedometer prominently located in front of the driver. Auxiliary gauges are housed in a multi-mode display in the center console, as are the controls for the audio and ventilation systems. The center console also houses the rotor-shaped joystick control for the six-speed auto-shift manual transmission. This joystick allows the driver to select one of two modes - clutchless automatic shifting or manual shifting using the wing shift controls mounted on the steering wheel (similar to the paddle shifters used on Formula One race cars). The wing shift selectors allow the driver to make quick fingertip shifts without removing his or her hands from the steering wheel.

Carbon-Fiber Power Plant Frame

For exceptional handling, the RX-EVOLV features a solid chassis that employs hydroformed high-strength steel tubes in the side sills, pillars, roof rails and door edges. This gives the body of the RX-EVOLV the same rigidity as a conventional sedan with a center pillar. The engine and transmission are solidly connected to the rear suspension by a carbon-fiber Power Plant Frame (PPF), similar to the design used on the Miata and third-generation RX-7.

19-Inch Four-Wheel Disc Brakes

The RX-EVOLV uses four-wheel double-wishbone independent suspension to keep the wheels firmly planted on the road. The rack-and-pinion steering is electronically controlled, with a quick ratio for razor-sharp reflexes. Large, 19-inch ventilated disc brakes use six-piston calipers up front and four-piston calipers in the rear, and the braking system features four-wheel Anti-lock Brake System (ABS) and Dynamic Stability Control (DSC). The lightweight five-spoke 20-inch alloy wheels are shod with unidirectional asymmetric-tread low-profile run-flat tires. Low-pressure sensors alert the driver to a loss of tire pressure.

Advanced Technologies

Other advanced technologies incorporated in the RX-EVOLV are: ·An Active Cornering Brake system that allows the driver to control the brake force at each wheel individually, thus permitting the driver to alter the handling of the vehicle depending on his or her preferences (from understeer to oversteer). ·An ID Access Card that locks and unlocks the doors and starts the engine. The card also stores driver information and can be used to vary the level of engine output and actuation of the Active Cornering Brake system based on driver skill level. It can also transmit medical information in an emergency. ·A one-touch parking brake system that engages and disengages the parking brake at the touch of a button. ·Push-button controls for engine start and kill. ·A rear seat slide mechanism that moves the rear seats fore and aft, depending on passenger or cargo needs. ·A multi-zone audio system with 10 ultra-thin speakers integrated into the door trim, roof pillars and roof trim for concert hall-quality sound in a lightweight, space-efficient package. While Mazda has no plans to produce the RX-EVOLV concept vehicle in its current form, the car is a showcase of the company's advanced thinking and hints at the direction future Mazda products might take. Mazda North American Operations is responsible for the sales and marketing, customer parts and service support of Mazda vehicles in the United States. Headquartered in Irvine, Calif., MNAO has over 750 dealerships nationwide and is owned by Mazda Motor Corporation, Hiroshima, Japan.

Mazda RX-Evolv Concept 2000


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