The Japanese brand has teamed with the British Prodrive tuning specialist to build a limited edition of its highly successful Mazda RX-8 performance coupe. Although the special edition version of the car is still going to be produced by hundreds, there is still a good chance that the 2006 Mazda RX-8 PZ by Prodrive will be much better at retaining its value compared to a ‘normal’ coupe.
Being based on the top-of-the-line Mazda RX-8 231ps model, the new RX-8 PZ features just the same engine that gives it the same acceleration of 6.4 sec from zero to 62mph and a top speed of 146mph, but outpaces its older sibling from the point of view of stability and control: something that you really need when driving narrow and constantly winding roads in the rural parts of Britain.
The enhancements in stability were achieved thanks to the fact that new RX-8 PZ is 15mm lower than the standard RX-8 and is equipped with the specially tuned gas-filled mono-tube dampers from Bilstein and Eibach coil springs. The new front bumper with something that at least looks like a more effective front spoiler and better designed air vents, too, may have contributed to the vehicle’s advanced level of active safety.
Exterior changes also include exclusive 10-spoke 18-inch alloy wheels in “Dark Silver” finish from the Italian-based OZ Racing brand (fans of Formula 1 racings probably know this name very well,) as well as an aerodynamically enhanced rear spoiler, black mesh grilles in the outer and central front air intakes and in the rear bumper vent.
The rear view mirror casings were also reshaped in order to reduce the aerodynamic drag and, hopefully, make the interior of the limited edition version a tad quitter (just as the base version, the RX-8 PZ suffers from poor soundproofing that make long commutes on high speed a bit tiresome).
The vehicle’s standard exhaust system has also been replaced for an upgraded job from Prodrive. Despite providing the car with more rich exhaust sound, it also lets its engine breathe more freely although it doesn’t do much in terms of increasing its rated power.
Of course, there are badges and logos all over the place that not only won’t let you forget that you indeed own a piece of luxury, but will also be quite helpful when time comes to sell this beauty.
The new Mazda RX-8 PZ will cost about £25,995 and, like the recently introduced RX-8 Evolve special edition model, will be available only to the British customers.
The new vehicle will come to local dealerships starting 1 July, 2006. Only 800 cars will be sold no matter how high demand is.
According to the Japanese carmaker, the Mazda RX-8 PZ will be offered only in two colors: more practical Galaxy Grey (pictured) and dressier, but fast spoiled Brilliant Black.
By the way, there is another British-bound special edition RX-8 in the works, so, if you will miss the opportunity to get the RX-8 PZ Prodrive, there is still a good reason to keep saving money!
See also: 2007 Mazda CX-9 Crossover SUV
2006 Mazda RX-8 PZ by Prodrive technical specification
Body Type: 2-door coupe
Layout: front engine
Engine: 232 hp @ 8500 rpm, 159 lb-ft (215 Nm) @ 5500 rpm, 1.3-liter
Transmission: 6-Speed Manual
Top Speed: 146 mph
0 – 62 mph: 6.4 seconds
Overtaking 80 – 120 km/h N/A
Fuel Economy EPA city / highway cycle mpg (l/100 km): 18 / 24 (13 / 9.8)
Exterior Dimensions (L/W/H/Wheelbase) inches: 174.3 / 69.7 / 52.8 / 106.4
Ground clearance (inches): 4.7
Track (frt/rr): 58.9 / 59.3 in
Curb to curb turning circle (feet): 34.8
Curb Weight: 3075 lbs
Coefficient of Drag (Cd): N/A
Seating Capacity: 4 (2+2)
Cargo capacity, max (cu ft): N/A
Payload (max w/ occupants and cargo): N/A
Towing Capacity (max): N/A
Direct Competitors: BMW Z4, Ford Mustang, Mercedes-Benz SLK, Chrysler Crossfire, Infiniti G35, Porsche Boxster