Distinctive styling; unique Wankel rotary engine; great handling
The core of the RX-8 since 2003 has been its 1.3-liter twin-rotor RENESIS rotary engine. With the standard 6-speed manual transmission, the engine makes 232 hp. The optional 6-speed automatic with paddle shifters, available on the Sport and Grand Touring models, makes 212 hp. The front suspension is aluminum double wishbone, and all wheels have gas-filled shock absorbers. Steering assistance comes from an electric motor rather than a power-steering pump for better driver feedback.
Rear passengers enter using rear-hinged half-doors with no B-pillar between front and rear. This makes entry and exit quite a bit easier without compromising on safety. A series of locking pins hold the doors together and connect them directly into the roof and floor. Air bags are standard, as are anti-lock disc brakes with tire pressure monitoring and electronic brake distribution systems. Even the brake pedal is designed to break away in a forceful crash to avoid injuries to feet and legs.
The entry-level RX-8 Sport can be equipped with either manual or automatic transmissions, front and rear stabilizer bars and limited-slip differential for manual models. Power mirrors, doors and windows are standard, as are 18-inch alloy wheels, air conditioning with pollen filter, 6-speaker sound system, cruise control and leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob.
The Grand Touring adds Xenon headlights, fog lights, Homelink, rain-sensing wipers and stability control with traction control. Inside, the stereo gets an upgrade to a Bose system, the power driver's seat has a memory function, and the leather seats are heated. A DVD-based navigation system is optional. New for 2010 on the Grand Touring is a standard moonroof and Sirius satellite radio.
The performance-enhanced R3 has a sport-tuned suspension with Bilstein shock absorbers, and front suspension crossmembers filled with urethane foam for a more comfortable ride. The wheels are slightly larger at 19 inches, and the rear has a wing-style spoiler rather than a lip spoiler. The Recaro seats in the R3 are covered in leather and cloth trim, and the Bose sound system is standard. The navigation system is not available for the R3.
After a thorough freshening for 2009, the RX-8 gets very few changes in 2010. The Touring model was dropped in favor of two trim levels, Sport and Grand Touring. The R3 model is new, and aimed at the enthusiast driver. The design changes of last year remain, but new 10-spoke wheels with a rotary engine motif are available. One new paint color was added, Liquid Silver.
The RX-8 has a lot of competition among sporty vehicles in the $30,000 range, but it is the Mazda's unique features that enhance its appeal. The Mazda RENESIS rotary engine is the only one of its kind available in the United States, and the RX-8's rounded styling makes it unmistakable. The RX-8's handling is almost universally acclaimed by auto journalists and enthusiasts alike. Add in Mazda's reputation for making great-handling, reliable, value-laden vehicles, and the RX-8 becomes the only one in its class.
Vehicle Price: 27,395.00
*Estimated payments are for informational purposes only and don't account for acquisition fees, destination charges, tax, title, and other fees and incentives or represent a financing offer or guarantee of credit from the seller.
Equipment that may affect values (standard equipment is pre-selected):
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