Mazda RX-8 ’s innovations don’t begin and end in the engine compartment. Instead, you’ll find them throughout the car, inside and out. Its “Freestyle” door system, for example, banishes both center pillars, granting pilot and passengers unrestricted access to first-class seating for four adults. At the turn of an ignition key, its electroluminescent gauges ignite before your eyes. The RX-8’s thick leather-wrapped wheel puts controls for the audio system and cruise control literally at your fingertips—and paddle shifters as well, if you choose an RX-8 equipped with the 4-speed Sport AT automatic transmission. Opening the trunk reveals an unobstructed cargo area big enough to thoughtfully accommodate your weekend luggage. Unshackled from traditional trade-offs, the RX-8 redefines the sports car. And opens up a whole new world of possibilities in the process.
Coiled under the Mazda RX-8’s weight-saving aluminum hood is an engine unlike any other -- a painstakingly hand-assembled, remarkably responsive RENESIS rotary powerplant. It is an engine so advanced that it has no cylinders, pistons or valves. Just three major moving parts and an outrageously broad powerband. The rotary’s compact size, light weight, reliability and power-to-weight ratio provide so many inherent advantages that the RX-8 was literally designed around it. From every angle -- compared to an ordinary powerplant -- a rotary is the ideal engine for a sports car. Better still, two distinct engine/transmisson choices ensure the RX-8 is tailor-made to fit your driving style. For undiluted exhilaration, a high-revving 238-hp powerplant, with a stratospheric 9,000-rpm redline, is offered with a short-throw 6-speed manual gearbox.For both convenience and fun, a higher-torque 197-hp version, with a 7,500-rpm redline, is paired with a 4-speed Sport AT automatic.