Mazda announced it will build a final special edition of the RX-8 before production ends June next year. The Spirit R will be the grand finale for Mazda’s rotary-powered four-dour sports car which will go on sale exclusively in Japan November 24. The automaker expects to sell 1000 Spirit Rs.
Spirit R models will be available in Aluminum Metallic, Sparkling Black Mica, or Crystal White Pearl Mica paint choices. Exclusive upgrades include special Spirit R badge, black bezels for exterior lighting (headlights, fog lights, taillights), piano black trim on the transmission tunnel, and side front and curtain airbags standard. Manual transmission models gain specially-made Spirit R bucket seats from Recaro and bronze 19-inch alloy wheels with 225/40R19 tires.
Cars equipped with automatic transmissions get black leather seats, steering wheel, and parking brake lever featuring red stitching. Front and rear center console lids and armrests get matching synthetic leather with red stitching. Slush box cars also get a sports suspension and larger brakes. Gun-metal finish 18-inch alloy wheels with 225/45R19 tires round out the upgrades.
The Spirit R name was also given to the final edition Mazda RX-7 when its Japanese production was discontinued in 2002 (the Mazda RX-7 left the North American market in 1995).
“Although RX-8 production is ending, the rotary engine will always represent the spirit of Mazda and Mazda remains committed to its ongoing development," said Takashi Yamanouchi, Mazda's Representative Director, Chairman of the Board, President and CEO, in a press release giving hope to rotary fans worldwide that the development plans for the vaunted RX-7’s successor is alive and well deep inside the automaker’s Hiroshima headquarters.