HIROSHIMA, Japan, January 19, 2006--Mazda's RX-8 Hydrogen Rotary Engine (RE) car will be used as a support vehicle for runners during the 11th All Japan Prefectural Men's Marathon Relay Race, to be held in Hiroshima on January 22, 2006. The RX-8 Hydrogen RE vehicle features a dual-fuel system that allows the driver to select hydrogen or gasoline with the flick of a switch. This will be the world's first drive for this vehicle on public roads in a support capacity at a sports event.
The Mazda RX-8 Hydrogen RE vehicle has a hydrogen rotary engine with both high-pressure hydrogen and gasoline tanks. The hydrogen and rotary combination offers excellent environmental performance--zero emission of carbon dioxide (CO2) gas and near zero nitrous oxide (NOx) emissions--yet retains an internal combustion engine's natural driving feel. It uses engine parts and production facilities that already exist in Mazda's inventory, so this innovative and environmentally friendly engine can be built reliably at a relatively low cost. Mazda acquired approval from Japan's Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MLIT) for public road test drives in October 2004, and is developing the vehicle to assess the practicality of this unique powertrain for everyday use.
Since 1996, the All Japan Prefectural Men's Marathon Relay Race has been held in Hiroshima every January to foster the development of mid-to-long distance runners and increase the popularity of these relay races. This year marks the 11th annual race, and participating athletes represent all 47 prefectures of Japan. As a company located in the Hiroshima area, Mazda Motor Corporation is pleased to offer operational support for this marathon relay race and provide race support vehicles.
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