Monday, January 14, 2008

Facelifted Mazda RX8 unveiled at Detroit 2008

Mazda has given the RX8 a mid-life facelift, admittedly while only a mild evolution of the current model, it’s still worth a lookover to see what has changed.

The facelifted Mazda RX8 gets new front and rear bumpers on the outside, as well as new wheels. The chassis has been made more rigid through extra bracing. It also has a new rear suspension geometry. On the inside, the instrument panel now features an RPM meter with a variable red zone, much like what BMW has implemented for their M cars. This redzone starts at a low engine speed when the engine is first started up, and slowly moves up as the engine warms up.

Under the hood, the twin-rotor RENESIS 13B-MSP puts out 232 horsepower with a 6-speed manual transmission (with a new 4.444 ratio, down from 4.777), or 212 horsepower with a 6-speed Sport AT automatic. The engine revs all the way up to a 9,000rpm redline for the manual model, and 7,500rpm for the automatic.

There is an upgrade package called the R3 package which adds a rear spoiler, 19 inch forged aluminium wheels, Recaro seats, Bilstein shocks, a 300-watt Bose audio system, keyless entry and start, side skirts and fog lamps to the new facelifted RX8. The R3 name is a homage to the R1 and R2 packages offered on the RX7 FD.

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