Rear-drive, rotary-engined Mazda goes rallying. Results are suitably spectacular
Everyone in New Zealand is obsessed with the rotary engine. They are to New Zealanders what V8s are to Americans, it seems. If anyone reading this in New Zealand feels like telling us exactly why, please go ahead.
But before you do, take a couple of minutes to watch what, for the average Kiwi, is a very NSFW video indeed. It is, quite simply, a car with a rotary engine driving through a forest at speed, but the noises it’s making are, we suspect, enough to cause NZ-national palpitations. Consult your doctor before clicking play.
Jokes aside, this Mazda RX-8 rally car is a mighty fine-sounding thing. Doesn’t look half bad, either. Its driver/owner is rallyist Marcus van Klink, and if the Internet is to be believed, the 20B triple-rotor engine produces something like 370bhp.
We’re also told there’s much carbonfibre involved, and the same sort of six-speed sequential gearbox used in touring cars. And because it’s rear-wheel drive, it does long, gravelly drifts. And we love those.