Mazda Brings Gorgeous Prototype Race Car to L.A.

mazda brings gorgeous prototype race car to l.a. – DOC695948

Yesterday we saw Porsche unveil the 911 RSR as the only full-fledged race car at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show. Today, the event’s motorsport lineup expanded to include the Mazda RT24-P. Essentially a replacement for last year’s Mazda Prototype, the RT24-P was built to new IMSA regulations and will tackle the DPi class in 2017.

The RT24-P name stands for “Mazda’s Road to 24” program, but also signifies the 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine under the hood. The 600-horsepower, turbocharged mill is the only carryover from last year’s model, while the new chassis is based on the Riley Mk. 30 LMP2 and was designed and built by Multimatic. But, the most spectacular feature of the new race car is the exterior design.

Unlike the outgoing race car, the RT24-P is heavily inspired by the company’s Kodo design, which is evident at the front. The nose is highlighted by the familiar five-point grille wearing the same “Mazda” logo as the production cars, while the muscular front fenders sport slender and slightly swept-back headlamps (in this case plastic covers), also very similar to the road-going models. The race car also received very aggressive wide side pods, and massive intakes under the butterfly-type doors.

Toward the rear, the RT24-P is similar to other prototypes, using a massive fin that stretches from the roof scoop all the way back toward the rear wing. The wing itself has massive, P-shaped struts that make direct contact with the rear diffuser at the bottom of the rear fenders. Not surprisingly, it is painted in a flashy red color based on the production color Soul Red.

“This is a huge moment for Mazda Motorsports and the entire Mazda family,” said John Doonan, director of Mazda Motorsports North America. “To have a car which features Mazda design language at the top level of our motorsports program is meaningful for us as a brand. We believe we have the right team, the right drivers and the right chassis to win races and championships.”

The new race car will compete under Daytona Prototype international (DPi) rules in the Prototype class, the top level of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. After significant on-track testing at Daytona on December 13-14, it will make its racing debut at the 2017 Rolex 24 at Daytona in late January 2017. Mazda is one of three DPi manufacturers to be on the grid at Daytona, joining Nissan’s effort with Tequila Patron ESM, and the yet-unconfirmed Cadillac DPi program with Action Express Racing and Wayne Taylor Racing.

Why it matters

Mazda Brings Gorgeous Prototype Race Car to L.A.

Race cars aren’t supposed to look pretty, but rather boast excellent aerodynamics and powerful, reliable drivetrains. The fact that Mazda also managed to come up with a gorgeous design for the RT24-P is plain awesome and will make you never want to miss an IMSA race next year. Styling-wise, the RT24-P is the 787B of the 21st century. All there is left to do is hope it will be able to match the outstanding results of Mazda’s 1991 24 Hours of Le Mans winner.

Press Release

The new Mazda RT24-P race car was unveiled today at the Los Angeles Auto Show, ushering a new era in the prominent history of Mazda Motorsports’ flagship endeavors in North America. The new car will compete under Daytona Prototype international (DPi) rules in the Prototype class, the top level of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. After significant on-track testing, it will make its racing debut at the 2017 Rolex 24 at Daytona in late January.

KODO Design

Mazda Brings Gorgeous Prototype Race Car to L.A.

Mazda is known globally for the engineering and design excellence of its vehicles, and the new Prototype is no exception. The bodywork of the race car was developed by Mazda designers utilizing the KODO—Soul of Motion design philosophy. KODO represents the instant that energy becomes motion, such as the muscular beauty as an animal pounces or a human leaps into action. The KODO design cues on the Mazda RT24-P include the sleek body contours and the five-point Mazda grille.

“KODO design is at the heart of any vehicle that carries a Mazda badge, and that is very evident in the design of the 2017 Prototype,” said Ken Saward, senior manager of Design at Mazda Design Americas, which falls under the Mazda North American Operations umbrella. “We considered the two main parameters of designing a successful race car for this series: aerodynamic performance and the new-for-2017 technical regulations. 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.”

Mazda Brings Gorgeous Prototype Race Car to L.A.

Managing the two-car Mazda Prototype factory race team is Florida-based SpeedSource Race Engineering. The team will race the new Riley Mk. 30 chassis, developed by Riley Technologies in relationship with Multimatic. Riley Technologies is a prominent chassis design and development company with 99 race wins and nine Prototype season championships in North American endurance racing since 2004. Canadian-based Multimatic has worked with Mazda since 2014 in the Prototype category, and has developed and built some of the world’s premier on-road supercars and successful sports cars for the race track. The Mazda team will be the first to test the Riley Mk. 30 chassis later this month.

The Mazda RT24-P will be powered by the Mazda MZ-2.0T engine which raced during the 2016 IMSA season. The approximately 600-horsepower engine, developed and raced with Advanced Engine Research (AER), is a 2.0-liter, inline four-cylinder turbocharged engine.

Mazda Brings Gorgeous Prototype Race Car to L.A.

“This is a huge moment for Mazda Motorsports and the entire Mazda family,” said John Doonan, director of Mazda Motorsports North America. “To have a car which features Mazda design language at the top level of our motorsports program is meaningful for us as a brand. We believe we have the right team, the right drivers and the right chassis to win races and championships.

“Mazda has good, long-standing relationships with Riley and Multimatic, and is happy to be the first to test their new chassis. We look forward to seeing it make its racing debut at Daytona with Mazda bodywork and the Mazda MZ-2.0T engine. The strategic vision of IMSA to give auto manufacturers this opportunity to integrate our branding —to better engage our passionate fans— is unique and we’re proud to be the first to unveil what is possible.”

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