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Launched in 2003, the Mazda RX-8 hit the global market with a serious bang. The RX-8 has won more than 50 global awards since its release including 2003 RJC Car of the Year in Japan Australia's Wheels magazine's Car of the Year for 2003, 2003 International Engine of the Year, 2004 Singapore Car of the Year, the 2004 U.S. Best Sports Car and UK Car of the Year 2004. It was also named on Car and Driver magazine's Ten Best list for 2004, 2005, and 2006. All together, Mazda has sold nearly 167,000 RX-8s around the world.

Mazda rx8 future.jpg

For 2009, Mazda will further the evolution of the four-door, four-seater sports coupe, giving RX-8 a refreshed exterior and interior design, enhanced performance and a new R3 sport package for the ultimate driving enthusiast.

Unchanged is the core of the RX-8 – a high-powered, lightweight and perfectly balanced machine powered by the world-renowned twin-rotor RENESIS rotary engine.

"Dating back to the Cosmo Sport released in 1967, every sports car ever developed by Mazda has had the same fundamental mission – to provide car lovers with a vehicle that's fun-to-drive, exciting to look at and easy to own," said Tetsu Nakazawa, Mazda North American Operations' RX-8 vehicle line manager. "The 2009 RX-8 embodies that mission, conveying the unique and distinctive Mazda brand DNA to the fullest."

Mazda rx8 future 1.jpg

To enhance the highly successful RX-8, Mazda engineers focused on innovation in three key areas for the 2009 RX-8: styling, performance and packaging. "The enhancements made to RX-8's exterior, interior, packaging and performance takes it to a whole new level of visual and driving excitement," remarked Nakazawa.


RX-8 was designed with an athletically sculpted exterior that provides a sense of originality that's unrivaled in the marketplace today. For 2009, RX-8 receives design enhancements that are meant to freshen the styling and give RX-8 a new look, without impairing the basic design theme. Refinements for the 2009 model year include restyled front and rear bumpers and front fascia; sporty, high quality finish front and rear headlamps; and larger exhaust pipes (now measuring 90 mm across). The 2009 RX-8 also offers a new five-spoke wheel design featuring a symbolic and sporty design reminiscent of the rotary engine, with different arrangements for each wheel size.

Taut muscular lines give RX-8 the liberating look of an athlete in motion. The muscular styling maintains classic sports car proportions while adding a Zoom-Zoom edge that is unmistakably Mazda.

The RX-8's unique "freestyle" four-door design is proof that a true sports car does not need to sacrifice space or convenience for performance. The advanced design of the rear-hinged rear doors, provides a large door opening, allowing adult-sized passengers to easily enter and exit the vehicle. This design is also advantageous when securing a baby or a small child in the back seat. With a spacious rear seat area providing ample passenger room for four full-size adults, and enough trunk space for a weekend's worth of luggage, this sports car proves its versatility.

The RX-8's exterior styling presents a genuine sports car form, while the interior boasts a comfortable and intelligently designed cabin. Minor enhancements were made for the 2009 RX-8 to provide a simple and functional interior design that supports driving pleasure. The center IP shape was redesigned to give a feeling of dynamic movement, a variable red-zone was added to the tachometer that will rise as the engine comes to operating temperature and a new steering wheel and redesigned front and rear seats are also added.

An extremely low cabin floor allows the seats to be mounted low in the chassis, which, along with a low instrument cluster and hood, allows a low center of gravity and allows outstanding occupant visibility. Mazda designers concentrated on the shape of the front seat backs and the rear seat cushions to ensure adequate rear-seat knee room. Front seat slide-rails are positioned to allow maximum leg room for rear-seat passengers.

The rotary design element is incorporated through the interior of the RX-8 in creative ways, appearing in the seats. The stylish cabin also evokes a sense of luxury and high-end quality. Mazda's design team examined every aspect and component of the interior and has created an elegant, driver-centric atmosphere. Through the use of advanced ergonomic research, Mazda engineers determined that improper seating posture is a major cause of driver fatigue and built in optimum support in the front seats to help offset discomfort. In addition, the color of the RX-8's instrument cluster was developed to reduce eye fatigue and strain.


Through-and-through, the RX-8 is a pure sports car that gives the driver an exciting and dynamic experience. For 2009, engineers improved 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. Also, the rear suspension geometry has been reconfigured for better handling performance and driveshaft rigidity is improved, lowering NVH levels and improving performance.

In addition, the differential gear ratio on manual transmission-equipped cars is lowered from 4.444 to 4.777 for improved off-the-line performance. While minimal, these performance changes give RX-8 increased acceleration and performance, as well as even greater responsiveness to the accelerator pedal – always a rotary-engine and RX-8 hallmark.

To achieve this sophisticated dynamic, Mazda utilizes the advanced RENESIS (Rotary Engine genesis – or rebirth of the rotary engine) engine. The Mazda RX-8 remains the only mass-produced rotary-powered passenger car in the world. While exhibiting unusually high power output for a naturally aspirated engine, RENESIS outstrips comparable reciprocating engines in terms of acceleration, the feeling of power in reserve and quick response.

The 2009 Mazda RX-8 is available as either a 232-horsepower model fitted with a six-speed manual transmission, or a 212-horsepower model fitted with a six-speed Sport A/T automatic with steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters for a Formula 1-style driving experience.

By turning a triangular rotor in a cocoon-shaped combustion chamber, the RX-8's rotary engine efficiently performs the four processes of intake, compression, combustion and exhaust. The RENESIS engine is remarkably smooth and high revving - all the way to 9,000 rpm (7,500 rpm on Sport A/T–equipped models) - and offers a smaller engine footprint than traditional internal combustion engines (some 60 percent smaller and lighter than a comparably powered V-6, and 40 percent smaller and lighter than a four-cylinder). In fact, the packaging and styling that define the RX-8 would not have been possible had Mazda engineers chosen a conventional piston engine.

Improving upon 40 years of rotary designs, the RENESIS engine features side intake and exhaust ports with nearly 30 percent more intake port and twice as much exhaust port than its predecessors. The efficiencies gained through shortening intake/exhaust overlapping period and using the larger intake and exhaust ports in delivering world-class performance.

The RX-8's normally aspirated 1.3-liter engine might appear diminutive to the untrained eye when compared to large-displacement V-8s or heavyweight V-10s or V-12s. However, through the incredible efficiencies of a rotary powerplant, an advanced three-stage intake system and an electronic throttle, the RENESIS engine delivers smooth, linear power on a grand scale.

The RX-8 uses an aluminum double-wishbone front suspension, reducing unsprung weight over the use of steel components. By mounting the upper and lower arms on a highly rigid sub-frame, the long arms ensure linear alignment changes throughout the jounce and rebound of the front wheels. All corners are fitted with mono-tube gas-filled shock absorbers designed with large-diameter internal pistons and valving, which offer excellent road feedback and a smooth ride.

An electric rack-and-pinion power-steering system transmits just the right amount of road information back to the driver. Mazda engineers have chosen to pursue their own path by using an electric motor for steering assistance rather than a conventional power-steering pump. The electric motor provides additional assistance at low speeds to ease parking and reduces steering assistance at higher speeds to provide greater road feel, responsiveness and feedback. And, in keeping with the rest of the development on RX-8, it is far lighter and easier to package than a conventional power-steering rack.


To cater to the driving-conscious enthusiast, the 2009 RX-8 will offer a new R3 sport package. Providing the very best in rotary-powered motoring, the R3 harkens back to the R1 and R2 packages offered on the mighty third-generation RX-7, and adds a sport-tuned suspension with Bilstein shock absorbers and front suspension crossmembers filled with urethane foam. Filling the crossmembers makes for a smoother ride, minimized NVH and greater suspension control.

On the visual side of the package, a rear spoiler, side sills, fog lights and sporty front bumper are added to give an aggressive appearance, along with 19-inch forged aluminum-alloy wheels with high performance tires. Inside, the R3 adds a 300-watt Bose® audio system with Centerpoint® surround sound and AudioPilot® noise compensation technology, Bluetooth hands-free phone system, front Recaro sport seats with leather side bolsters, leather-wrapped parking brake handle and Mazda advanced keyless entry and start system.

Three other trim levels are also offered including: a Sport trim, a Touring trim (adds HID headlights, fog lamps, auto dimming mirror with Homelink® and 6-disc auto changer on top of the Sport trim features and DSC; add 18-inch wheels, a limited-slip differential, sport-tuned suspension and larger front disc brakes to these items for A/T cars, and Bose® audio system, moonroof, SIRIUS satellite radio are offered as the package option), and a Grand Touring trim (on top of the Touring trim features, adds automatic air conditioner, Bluetooth hands-free phone system, Bose® audio system auto headlight, rain sensing wiper, power-adjustable driver's seat with lumbar support and memory function, leather seating surfaces - heated front seats- and heated outside mirrors and Mazda Advanced Keyless Entry & Start system. A DVD-driven satellite-navigation unit is available as a stand-alone option and uses a single DVD for mapping the entire United States and portions of Canada. Additionally, a moon roof and SIRIUS satellite radio are offered as an package option.)

All Mazdas come with a roadside assistance program. With a call to a toll-free number, owners can access roadside assistance 24 hours a day, 365 days a year throughout the United States and Canada. In addition, a comprehensive three-year/36,000-mile warranty covers every part on the vehicle except those subject to normal wear. Also, all models receive a five-year/60,000 mile powertrain warranty and a five-year/unlimited-mileage corrosion warranty.


When designing the RX-8, safety was given as much of a priority as was performance. For Mazda, the safety process incorporates both accident avoidance and accident protection. In effect, this approach to safety means the RX-8 can help the driver avoid various dangers and protect occupants in the unfortunate event of a collision. In rollover tests performed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the RX-8 achieved an impressive five-star rating.

Mazda engineers integrated numerous active and passive safety elements throughout the car. Active safety features, which require input from the driver, include the use of large ABS-equipped disc brakes on all wheels as well as precise steering and suspension systems. Dynamic Stability Control (available on Sport models with Performance package, standard on Touring and Grand Touring) delivers a superior level of handling that can be disabled when driving and road conditions allow safe operation.

Passive systems, or those that take effect automatically without the driver's involvement, also are present throughout the RX-8. Despite the absence of a center B-pillar, the RX-8 has an exceptionally rigid body, accomplished through the use of the vertical pillars built in the rear doors and a series of locking pins, which hold the doors together and bind each door directly into the roof and floor. Integrating the frame components helps dissipate crash energy through the vehicle's structure.

Other standard passive systems on the RX-8 include front airbags, seat-mounted side-impact airbags and side-curtain airbags. Additionally, the front end and engine bay have ample crumple zones, the front seats are designed to reduce whiplash injuries, the brake pedal is designed to break away in the event of a collision of sufficient force to protect feet and legs and all four seating positions are fitted with three-point seatbelts. Even pedestrian protection was considered, as the RX-8 is fitted with Mazda's "shock-cone" hood design that yields more to the impact of a pedestrian onto the hood than a standard design, yet is strong enough to not deform in normal use.

Mechanical Changes In Series II RX-8's over S1

  • All New Powertrain Control Module (PCM) with TEMPERATURE SENSOR newly added and built into the PCM, when ETC (Engine Compartment Temperature) reaches 230F or 100C with Ignition OFF, Medium Cooling Fans Switch ON.
  • New Larger Genuine Oil Filter and Repositioned On Front Timing Cover Housing To-wards The Sump (Left Hand Side). USE GENUINE 09 SERIES II OIL FILTER ONLY.

Revised Oil Filler and Dip Stick (Longer Type).

  • New EMOP "Electric Metering Oil Pumps" Two of them... Internal Oil Pressure in EMOP's is between 7.3 and 21.7 PSI (Used for the first time by Mazda)
  • New Design Oil Injection Nozzles 3 per Rotor Housing..Totalling 6.
  • New Oil Pump Assembly.
  • 50% Higher Oil Pressure Rate at 100 oC (121oF) @3000 RPM...500 kPa {5.10 kgf/cm2, 72.5 psi} When compared to Series 1 RX-8.
  • New Oil Pressure Sensor (Located on #1 EMOP).
  • Larger Oil Pan Sump Capacity.
  • New Hex (8mm) Type Oil/Sump Drain Plug.
  • New Internal Oil/Sump Pan Magnet...(First Time Used In A Rotary Engine Since 1985 FC RX-7)
  • New External Silver Plate Engine Sump Guard.
  • New Inlet Manifold with Changed APV Position Sensors.
  • Revised 4 Fuel Injection Nozzles (2 Primary, 2 Secondary). (Series I six Port Engine had 6 FI Nozzles).
  • Revised Atmospheric Air Control Solenoid (Near Throttle Body)
  • New Fuel Pump.
  • New Radiator Core.
  • New Radiator Electric Fan Motors.
  • Revised Radiator Fans Speeds from 2 to 3 Speeds. (Low, Middle, High).
  • New Alternator.
  • New Starter Motor.
  • New Battery 80D26L. (80 AMP Hour) (Was 50D22L (50AH) or 75D26L (75AH) in Series I)
  • New Exhaust System.
  • New Yaw Rate Sensor Unit.
  • New Air Conditioner Temperature Controller (Amplifier).
  • New Bridgestone RE050A's in 18" and 19" (R3).
  • New Manual Transmission (6 speed MX-5/Miata) (Reverse is now next to 1st gear not next to 6th gear).
  • New Differential Ratio (Manual).
  • New Differential Fixing Plate Washer on PPF (Power Plant Frame).
  • Changed Throw Out Bearing (Thrust or Fork Bearing).
  • Revised Oil Coolers, Air Intakes and Oil Cooler Hose Lines.
  • Extra Rotor Knock Sensor (Now 1 per Rotor, Total Of 2).
  • New Water Pump/ New Timing Cover to suit.
  • New Water Pump Pulley.
  • New Water Pump "O" Ring as Gasket.
  • New Spark Plug Leads.
  • New Ignition Coil Backing/Mounting Plate (looks ventilated or holed)
  • New Alternator/Air Compressor Drive Belts.
  • Revised Eccentric Shaft (Crankshaft) Pulley.
  • Revised Oxygen Sensor (CAT).
  • Revised Air/Fuel Ratio Sensor (Exhaust Manifold).
  • New Air Pump Control Unit.
  • New One Piece Trans Tunnel Heat Shield (Previously Two Piece).
  • New Under Body Covers Reducing C Drag from 0.31 to now 0.30.
  • Larger Fuel Tank (5 liters extra or around a gallon).
  • New Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) Hydraulic Unit Control Module.
  • New Differential Mounting Bracket.
  • New Rear Suspension Control Links (Rods) Upper/Lower and Trailing have increased In Diameter.
  • New Rear Stabilizer Bar.
  • New Rear Shocks And Springs.
  • New Rear Parking Brake Cables.
  • New ABS Wheel Sensors (All 4 Wheels).
  • Revised TPMS (Tire Pressure Monitoring System) US Only.
  • New Front Upper And Front Lower Suspension Arms (Wishbone).
  • New Front Steering Knuckles And Wheel Hubs.
  • New Front Stabilizer Bar.
  • New Front Shock and Springs.
  • Revised Power Steering Control System Unit.
  • Revised Headlamp Auto Leveling Sensors.
  • New 3 Piece (Instead of 2) Strut Tower Brace (Manual Only), Auto's Retains Two Piece Tower Brace.
  • Revised Front and Rear Wheel Arch Splash Guards/Shields.
  • Thicker (Heavier Guage) Steel On The Two Front Strut Towers.
  • Additional Spot Welding Around Both Door Openings For Increased Rigidity.
  • Stiffened Body Shell = Torsional (twisting) and Flexural (bending) Rigidity have been increased by 5.4 and 8.7 per cent respectively.
  • Auto's and Manual's both have 6 port engines, Max Power RPM (kw) has been limited to 7500 for Auto compared to 8200 RPM for the manual.

News Release JAPAN (2008 SE3P)


Refreshed Mazda RX-8 on Sale in Japan - New Mazda RX-8 Type RS offers enhanced driving performance and bolder styling -

HIROSHIMA, Japan—Mazda Motor Corporation has announced the launch of the freshened Mazda RX-8. The updated four-door, four-seat rotary-powered sports car is available from today at all Mazda and Mazda Anfini dealerships throughout Japan.*1

Mazda RX-8 Type RS

The four-seat RX-8 sports car debuted in Japan in May 2003, powered by Mazda’s lightweight, compact and powerful rotary engine. The freshened version evolves and refines the high performance and sporty styling core elements of the RX-8, and features enhanced quality and packaging. The newly released Type RS grade offers exceptional driving pleasure with better performance and bolder styling.

The exterior design features fresh new styling and improved quality, with larger air intakes in the front bumper, side marker lamps integrated with the headlight units, side air vents integrated with the turn indicators, and rear combination lights that contain LED lamps. Three new designs for the aluminum wheels all reflect rotor-shaped motifs, and the 16-inch wheels (on the Type E and RX-8 base grade) have been upgraded to 17 inches. With the addition of new exterior colors such as the high quality Diamond Grey Metallic, eight colors are now available.

Interior quality has been improved through densely woven black fabric seat covers in the Type S and RX-8 base grade, finely-perforated genuine leather seat covers in the Type E (available in black, red or beige) and a new tachometer with silver markings and white illumination. The packaging has been further refined with the addition of power adjustable seats with a memory function,*2 an electric folding driver’s seat*3 and a GPS navigation system fully integrated into the center panel.*4

The RX-8 now offers even better driving dynamics. New water and oil pumps, among other changes, improve the rotary engine’s performance and provide a better acceleration feel. Revised gear ratios in the six-speed manual transmission provide more responsive acceleration at lower engine speeds. Through a redesign of the body structure, increased local rigidity and improved aerodynamics provide greater sports car performance.

The new Type RS grade comes with exclusive aero parts, 19-inch forged aluminum wheels, RECARO bucket seats, Bilstein dampers and other equipment to emphasize the sporty appeal of the freshened RX-8 model range. To highlight its pedigree as a true driver’s car, the RX-8 Type RS also boasts more aggressive styling.

Manufacturer’s suggested retail prices vary from 2,600,000 to 3,150,000 yen (including consumption tax). The sales target volume for the new RX-8 model range is 270 units a month.

  • 1: The five-speed manual transmission RX-8 will go on sale in June 2008.
  • 2: Standard equipment on the Type E (with leather seats).
  • 3: Standard equipment on the Type E (with leather seats). The Type S and base grade seats are manually adjustable.
  • 4: Available as a factory-installed option on the Type E, Type S and Type RS grades.

Main features of the freshened RX-8

Exterior While maintaining the RX-8’s distinctive sports car proportions, the freshened exterior produces better aerodynamics and cooling performance. - Enlarged central and side air intakes in the front bumper improve engine cooling and emphasize the athletic styling. Side marker lamps integrated with the headlights reflect fine craftsmanship. - The front fenders feature turn indicators integrated with newly designed air vents. - The new rear bumper, designed in the same color as the car body, elevates the sense of quality. Enlarged dual exhaust pipes express high power, and LED lamps set in a circle in each rear combination light spotlight the sporty appeal. - Newly designed aluminum wheels. The Type S has 18-inch wheels with a rotor-shaped motif that symbolizes the rotary engine. The Type E and RX-8 base grade have 17-inch wheels with a five-spoke design. - New high quality exterior colors, Sparkling Black Mica, Diamond Grey Metallic and the sporty Aurora Blue Mica, bring the total range to eight body colors.

Interior Based on the RX-8’s iconic sports car design, detailed interior refinements improve the packaging and quality. - Updated instrument panel center section design. The pop-up type optional GPS navigation system has been replaced by a system fully integrated into the center stack. - The addition of silver markings on the tachometer enhances the vehicle’s sporty feel. White illumination improves its visibility and the sense of quality. - Tactile leather is now used to wrap the steering wheel and parking brake lever.*5 The appearance and feel of the door arm rests and rear console lid have also been improved. - Newly designed seats. The Type S and RX-8 base grade have densely woven black fabric seat covers. The Type E’s seats have a finely perforated leather center section (in black, red or beige). Grades with leather seats also offer improved functionality through an eight-way power adjustable driver’s seat with a three-person memory function, an electric folding driver’s seat for easy access to the rear, and newly added heated front seats for extra comfort in winter. - The Mazda G-BOOK Alpha-compatible voice controlled HDD navigation system is available at as a factory-installed option.*5 The system offers access to a range of information and services, and also supports Bluetooth® applications.

  • 5: Available on the Type E, Type S and Type RS grades.

Mazda RX-8 Type E

Performance After a review of every aspect of the RX-8’s superb performance, the freshened RX-8 lineup now offers an even more refined sporty ride. - The RENESIS rotary engine now provides an enhanced acceleration feel at middle to low-engine speeds due to various improvements such as new water and oil pumps. These changes also contribute to improved durability and stability. - New variable red zone system. The tachometer red zone moves in three stages according to the engine temperature. This prevents over-revving immediately after startup when the engine is cold. - The gear ratios in the six-speed manual transmission-equipped grades have been lowered to improve off-the-line acceleration. Model grades with the six-speed automatic (Activematic) transmission feature a newly developed Direct mode. When driving with the gear selector in Drive (D), Direct mode allows the driver to temporarily change gears using the paddle shifters on the steering wheel without having to switch to Manual mode. This provides a boost in acceleration or engine braking to aid certain situations such as overtaking other vehicles or descending steep gradients. - The front and rear suspensions were revamped, and the dampers, coil springs, bushes and stabilizers were optimized to improve stability and ride comfort. - A trapezoidal strut tower bar (on manual transmission grades) and reinforced suspension towers and wheel aprons increase the torsional rigidity of the front body and improve stability. - Aerodynamics were improved by adjusting the shape of the front and rear corners, enlarging the front tire deflectors and adding an engine undercover to control air flow. This resulted in an improved drag coefficient (Cd) of 0.30 and enhanced high-speed stability.

Main features of the new RX-8 Type RS This new grade was designed especially for customers with sporty tastes. Its base model is the six-speed manual transmission version of the RX-8 Type S. With heightened sporty driving performance and strong and athletic styling that sets it apart from the standard model grades, the Type RS offers exceptional driving pleasure.

Enhanced sporty equipment - Exclusive aeroparts The large front aero bumper, side under spoilers, and rear spoiler create a more muscular impression and increase stability at highway speeds. - 19-inch forged aluminum wheels Gunmetal forged wheels with rotor-shaped motifs help reduce the unsprung weight. Matched with 225/40R19 89W tires, they yield exceptional grip and create a heart thumping impression. - RECARO bucket seats (front) The exclusively designed RX-8 seats have fabric center sections (a black and grey combination), black genuine leather side supports and are accentuated with red stitching. They offer first-rate body support. - Leather-wrapped steering wheel, shift lever and hand brake (with red stitching) The red stitching on the leather matches the exclusive bucket seats. - Hard suspension (Bilstein dampers) The suspension was specially designed for the RX-8 to support its superb driving performance. It enables lithe vehicle movement with stable damping force for various driving situations. - Front suspension crossmembers filled with urethane foam Filling the crossmembers makes for excellent driving stability, linear steering and improved ride feel.

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