What are they like?

* We test hydrogen-powered Mazdas * On Norway's Hydrogen Highway * Non-fuel-cell hydrogen...

Author Avatar
What Car? Staff
13 July 2009

The RX-8 RE isn't a fast sports car like the petrol-powered model, so it feels very odd to drive.

Acceleration times aren't published, but since the RX-8 RE has 108bhp (the petrol version has 228bhp) it doesn't respond quickly or gather pace particularly well.

It's slightly noisier running on hydrogen than it is on petrol and even with a 105-litre hydrogen tank, its official fuel consumption test suggests a range of just 100km or 62 miles.

We drove the car for around 15 minutes and used more than a quarter of the tank. There is also a five-litre petrol tank that you can switch to if you run out of hydrogen.

The same 108bhp rotary engine is used in the Premacy, but the car is far more responsive thanks to the battery-powered electric motor that helps it out when you step on the throttle.

The Premacy's official overall range is double that of the RX-8, so if you move to Norway and jump on the Hydrogen Highway, you've got a much better chance of reaching the next refuelling stop in this.

At the moment, refuelling is a little slower than it would be with petrol, but soon the pressurised system will be just as quick.