There just seems to be no stopping Mazda right now. After the recent arrival of the fourth-generation MX-5 roadster and with a new CX-5 SUV on the way, their current car range is pretty much flawless (seriously, look at their offering right now and point out a weak model).
It looks like they’re going to be doing the business on the track too, as this – their new IMSA championship racer – suggests.
This is the Mazda RT24-P, a prototype racing car that will compete full-time in the International Motor Sports Association’s WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Prototype class from January.
Revealed at the Los Angeles Auto Show, the car uses a 591bhp two-litre four-cylinder turbocharged engine called MZ-2.0T, and sits on a Riley/Multimatic prototype chassis with specially-designed Mazda bodywork.
And that’s one of the crazy things about it: the bodywork incorporates Mazda’s ‘Kodo – Soul of Motion’ design language so successfully that it is instantly recognisable as a Mazda, whilst remaining an undeniable track-only race car.
That’s because the exterior includes body contours, a five-point Mazda grille and that luscious Soul Red colour which graces every new car Mazda reveal.
“This car is nothing short of breathtaking,” said IMSA president Scott Atherton. “It represents a benchmark example of the vision we have for how manufacturers incorporate their production car design elements into a prototype race car.”
Aerodynamic performance and the new technical regulations for 2017 were at the forefront when Mazda Design Americas were devising the race car’s design, revealed Mazda’s design senior manager Ken Saward.
“Working with Multimatic’s aerodynamicist and engineers, we discovered that applying the Kodo design philosophy to the surfaces and the silhouette of the car enabled us to create a dynamic, purposeful-looking design and a very aerodynamically efficient one,” he added.
On-track testing will begin before December in preparation for the 2017 WeatherTech Championship season, which kicks off on Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th January with the 55th Rolex 24 at Daytona.
“We believe we have the right team, the right drivers and the right chassis to win races and championships,” concluded John Doonan, director of Mazda Motorsports North America.
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