Monday, January 14, 2008

Detroit 2008: 2009 Mazda RX8

We have already been treated to views of the 09 RX8 already at the Tokyo Auto Salon as the RX8 RS. Mazda revealed the official 2009 RX8 in Detroit at NAIAS today.

Not much has changed as the RX8 is due for replacement soon. So a minor face lift and some mechanical upgrades were made for 09. Horsepower was upgraded to 232hp with the two-rotor Renesis rotary motor backed by a 6 speed manual transmission. If you opt for the automatic trans with paddle shifters, horsepower drops 20 hp to 212. The 1.3 liter Renesis motor is one of the smoothest rotary motors ever produced. Providing smooth acceleration through 9,000 rpm. New engine bracing and suspension geometry round out the major mechanical changes for 09.

The revised front and rear bumpers and different exhaust tips are the noticeable changes outside. In my opinion, it looks much better than the previous RX8. Inside the interior received some minor upgrades aswell.

The big news for 2009 is the R3 package. It harks back to the R1 & R2 package offered on the RX7 in the 1990s. This package is for the serious performance minded enthusiasts. The R3 RX8 will include "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."

Look for the RX8 to hit showrooms later this year.

Source: Mazda