Mazda RX-8 2nd Generation
|Predecessor||Mazda RX-7 Mazda Cosmo|
|Body style||2-door quad coupé|
|Engine||1.3 L RENESIS (Wankel) NA|
|Transmission||4-speed automatic 6-speed automatic 5-speed manual 6-speed manual|
|Wheelbase||2,703 mm (106.4 in)|
|Length||2004–08: 4,425 mm (174.2 in) 2009–: 4,470 mm (176.0 in)|
|Width||1,770 mm (69.7 in) / 1,850 mm (72.8 in) including mirrors|
|Height||1,340 mm (52.8 in)|
|Curb weight||Manual: 1,309–1,373 kg (2,886–3,027 lb) Auto: 1,384 kg (3,051 lb)|
|Related||Mazda MX-5 (3rd generation)|
In 2009, Mazda engineers improved the RX-8 body rigidity through the addition of structural reinforcements, by adding a trapezoidal strut tower bar and enhancing the local rigidity of the front suspension tower areas. The rear suspension geometry was revised for better handling. The final drive gear ration on manual transmission cars was shortened from 4.444 to 4.777 for improved off-the-line performance. The 2009 model was 19-35 pounds (9–16 kg) heavier than the 2008 model, depending on the transmission option While minimal, these performance changes gave the updated RX-8 increased acceleration and performance, as well as even greater responsiveness to the accelerator pedal. Mazda claimed that the updated (2009–2011) RX-8 was a significantly faster car than the previous (2004–2008) model car due to the lower weight, lowered gearing, and improved suspension. The Renesis II motor iteration that launched with the 2009 model year reportedly included a third oil injection port in each rotor housing, calming some consumers' nerves over perceived issues with the earliest model years' engine compression dependability and longevity.
The updated RX-8 also received design enhancements that were meant to freshen the styling and give the RX-8 a new look, without impairing the basic design theme. Refinements for the 2009 model year included a more aggressive restyled front and rear bumper as well as a new front fascia. The updated RX-8 also came with sporty, high-quality finish front and rear headlamps as well as larger exhaust pipes (now measuring 90 mm (3.5 in) across). The 09 RX-8 also offered a new five-spoke wheel design featuring a symbolic and sporty design reminiscent of the rotary engine, with different arrangements for each wheel size. There were three trims available to consumers from 2009 to 2011: Sport, Grand Touring, and R3.
The R3 version was introduced for the 2009 year model. The R3 package added slightly improved suspension over the base model by adding Bilstein shock absorbers and a foam filled front crossmember to improve rigidity. The R3 also came with 19-inch BBS-forged aluminum-alloy wheels and high performance tires. On the exterior, the R3 had a different, lower front bumper sporting a splitter, lower side sills, and a standard rear spoiler. There is a pair of special Recaro seats up front, along with the same 300-watt Bose audio system, Bluetooth, and Mazda advanced keyless entry and start system.
The Spirit R was a limited (2000 units) edition RX-8 for the Japanese market. The name "Spirit R" was based on the final limited edition Mazda RX-7. The RX-8 Spirit R came equipped with front and rear red brake calipers, piano-black transmission tunnel trim, and a front side SRS airbag system. The manual transmission model included SPIRIT R bucket seats from RECARO, 225/40R19 89W tires, and 19-inch bronze alloy wheels. The automatic transmission model included leather seats in black with red stitching, a leather-wrapped steering wheel (in black with red stitching), and a center console box front seat armrest covered with synthetic leather with red stitching. The body color choices for the Spirit R included Aluminum Metallic, Sparkling Black Mica, and Crystal White Pearl Mica.
A small number of Spirit R RX-8's were sold in Indonesia, Malaysia and New Zealand.