[cars name="Mazda"] showed a freshened RX-8 alongside their race-inspired Furai concept at the 2008 Detroit show. The 2009 model features several evolutionary tweaks as well as a new sporty option package.
On the outside, all RX-8s will get revised front fascias, bumpers, headlights and taillights. The exhaust tips are also larger, now measuring 90 mm. The front fender side gills have been replaced with smaller openings that now house turn indicators.
A redesigned center stack joins a new steering wheel on the interior. The tachometer also gets an update and will now vary the red zone depending on engine temperature. Redesigned seating in all four spots aims to increase rear leg room.
Driving dynamics weren’t ignored in the update. A trapezoidal strut tower brace adds rigidity up front, while rear suspension geometry has been revised for better handling.
A new R3 option package – an homage to the R1 and R2 packages offered on the RX-7 – adds some attitude to the RX-8. A sport suspension with Bilstein shocks is paired with foam-filled front suspension crossmembers for a smoother ride and more control. Exterior bits include a rear spoiler, side sills, fog lights and a sportier front bumper. Nineteen-inch forged alloy wheels are wrapped in performance rubber. The interior gets Recaro front seats, a 300-watt Bose sound system, and convenience options like Bluetooth and Mazda’s keyless entry and start system.
The 2009 RX-8 will continue as the only mass-produced rotary-engined car on the market today.
Click the link below for high-resolution RX-8 images.