September 23, 2005

●Knight Sports Supercharged RX-8

Mazda had no idea the RX-8 would have been so well accepted in the sports car world. In fact it was never even supposed to be a sporty car, but rather a unique family car that was also a fun drive. But in Japan tuners have been at it for years now trying to make this, the only rotary production car in the world, go a bit faster. Handling has never been an issue with the RX-8. It's considerably light, and thanks to the tiny Renesis being tucked almost under the dash (!) it makes the "8" behave like the best FR cars out there. However, what has proven to be a problem, is getting more power out of the 250PS twin rotor unit. The fact is this wankel is highly tuned as it is and as many people have found out, change one of the main variables like intake resistance or exhaust back-pressure, and you are more likely to loose power than gain anything significant! So this is where rotary masters Knight Sports come in. They have come up with a supercharger kit to considerably boost power and torque and give the RX-8 the extra horses it so desperatly needs.

This kit, which only operates at 0.5 bar, is enough to boost power to a very respectable 292.6 PS. Knight Sports also measured the power of the standard car before fitting the kit and found that it only developed 212.6 PS! It's a known fact Mazda were a bit optimistic when saying their high-spec RX-8 pushed out 250 PS. Anyway you can't argue with an 80 PS gain, and the best thing is the kit is bolt on, comes with everything you need including a small intercooler, and there is no danger of damaging the engine. The kit retails at ¥630,000 and is available right now. Please note that the piping and intercooler end tanks in the production version of the kit are polished unlike the items fitted to the demo/development car. Here are a few snaps of the Knight Sports RX-8 demo car.

Notice the aggressive original front bumper and side skirts


...and the rear carbon wing


What the kit looks like fitted.


Twin-exit titanium exhaust

Interior has been kept simple with only a Knight Sports carbon instrument holder and Defi gauges


It certainly looks the part out on the road, especially with the catching white-pearl paint job


Many thanks to Kinght Sports team for taking the time to let me sample this new demo car and get a glimpse into the fascinating world of rotary tuning Knight Sports style. Fact is, with racing experience going back to the seventies, nobody out there knows how to fettle with wankels as well as these people. The attention to detail of their work is a pleasure to see. If only every tuner out there was as half as good as these guys!

Posted by dino at September 23, 2005 09:19 PM
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