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Tuesday, November 7, 2023

787B Is Third Mazda Inducted Into Japan Automobile Hall Of Fame

A third Mazda vehicle has been inducted into the Japan Automobile Hall of Fame (JAHFA) and it happens to be their most iconic racecar: the 787B. The 787B and its four-rotary engine joins the Cosmo Sport (inducted in 2003) and the first-generation MX-5 (inducted in 2019).

The Japan Automobile Hall of Fame selects heritage cars that have left an outstanding mark on the Japanese automotive industry. Being the first Japanese automaker to win at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the 787B showcases the pinnacle of Japanese technology at the time and its never-stop challenging spirit.

The Mazda 787B won the 59th 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1991, becoming the first Japanese car to win the grueling endurance race with a rotary engine no less.

Unknown to many, the 787B’s victory in 1991 was the culmination of 13 years of effort to develop the rotary engine for motorsports. Even before it hit the track, it also guaranteed Mazda’s place on the automotive map. Lured by the promise of simplicity, smoothness, compactness, high RPMs, and high power-to-weight ratio, countless carmakers wanted to use the rotary engine, but only Mazda came up with a design that proved to be reliable.

In the rotary engine’s ultimate form in the 787B, it just required fuel, tires, and one oil top up to lap the Circuit de la Sarthe 362 times faultlessly proving the reliability, efficiency, and performance of Mazda’s unique rotary engine technology.

Today, in preparation for a new era in mobility, Mazda has resurrected the rotary engine with the newly-developed 8C. Installed in the MX-30 R-EV, it extends the cruising range of its EV by using the ultra-compact engine as a generator to charge the onboard batteries.

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