The Types of Gas for a Mazda RX8

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The Types of Gas for a Mazda RX8
Only premium unleaded gasoline should be used in the Mazda RX-8. (Refuelling by gasoline of the modern car image by terex from

The Mazda RX-8 was introduced in 2004, replacing the RX-7. The RX-8 is still being made today and runs on premium unleaded gasoline. A version of the RX-8 that runs on hydrogen and gasoline was also produced and sold in small lots in 2006 and 2008, but currently, this version is not commercially available to the general public. The focus on using premium gasoline stems from the unusual type of engine used in the RX-8 and the potential damage that regular gasoline can cause to the engine.

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Premium Unleaded Gasoline

All model years of the RX-8 require premium unleaded gasoline, according to Mazda. The reasoning behind this is that the RX-8 has an unusual type of engine. It is a rotary engine, which contains a triangular rotor and a housing surrounding the rotor. The rotor rotates and produces engine power via an eccentric shaft. Intake, compression, combustion and exhaust cycles occur three times per rotation. According to Mazda, the power-to-weight ratio of a rotary engine is superior to that of a conventional reciprocating engine.

The compression ratio of the RX-8 engine is 10-to-1, compared to the 8-to-1 compression ratio of most modern cars. This fact has a bearing on the type of gasoline that can be used in the car. The octane rating of unleaded gasoline is based on the resistance to "knocking" of the gasoline, and premium gasoline is most resistant to "knocking." Knocking is the explosion of fuel and air inside an engine that is not created deliberately by the spark plug. This causes vibration and noise, and it can damage the engine.

The California Energy Commission's Consumer Energy Center advises that even if an auto manufacturer specifies that you should use premium unleaded gasoline in your car, this might not be necessary. However, this statement is based on the typical engine compression ratio of most cars. According to an article by David Biello in the January 2007 issue of Scientific American, engines such as the RENESIS have a higher compression ratio that necessitates using premium unleaded gasoline to avoid knocking.

Avoid Regular Unleaded

Using regular unleaded gasoline in the RENESIS RX-8 engine is not recommended by Mazda. Although it is cheaper, regular gasoline contains a lower octane rating, which will increase the chance of "knocking" in this particular engine.

Gasoline and Hydrogen

For the dual-fuel RX-8 cars, the type of gasoline that should be used in conjunction with the hydrogen fuel is premium gasoline, as the hybrid engine is also a rotary engine.

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