If you have ever enjoyed a sweet horror flick, especially vampire, zombie, or werewolf ones, you are likely familiar with fact that the villain just never seems to die. He always comes back for a little bit more. One of my all-time favorites, Zombieland, actually teases about this by the “double-tap,” which is rule No. 2 in surviving a zombie outbreak.
Well, it appears that Mazda didn’t get that memo with the RX-8 zombie. Just like a bad case of zombification, this thing just keeps coming back for more. Mazda recently announced that it has extended the final production of the “Spirit R ” version of the RX-8 – thankfully only available in Japan – for an additional 1,000 units.
In addition to its 232 horsepower that are only attainable at engine speeds not many are comfortable with and its lackluster 159 pound-feet of torque, you also get larger brakes with red painted calipers, piano-black transmission tunnel trim, Recaro Sprint R seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and a revised traction control system.
It’s really curious to see just how much mud Mazda can drag the “RX” nameplate through before it finally takes it behind the barn and puts it out of its misery. We still have a lot of love for the RX lineup as a whole, but the RX-8 really tested the patience of RX lovers. Here’s to hoping this is the one and only time that Mazda decides to extend the life of this beautiful ride turned zombie and focuses more on releasing a new RX that will pay the proper respect to the name.
According to the press release, which you can read after the jump, this charade thankfully comes to an end in July of this year.
Click past the jump to read Mazda’s press release.
gallery: Mazda RX-8
gallery: Mazda RX-8 Spirit R
Mazda Extends Production of Special Edition RX-8 SPIRIT R
An extra 1,000 RX-8s are on their way due to popular demand -
HIROSHIMA, Japan-Mazda Motor Corporation has decided to extend production of the Mazda RX-8 SPIRIT R by 1,000 units. Mazda initially intended to make 1,000 units of the special edition four-door, four-seat rotary engine sports car, but will extend production due to a large number of orders. Sales of the RX-8 SPIRIT R, the final special edition model, were launched in November of 2011.
Mazda has received orders for the special edition RX-8 SPIRIT R from a variety of customers of all ages including sports car fans and rotary engine enthusiasts. The 6-speed manual transmission version is proving most popular, constituting 66% of orders. It features aero parts and Bilstein dampers as well as RECARO bucket seats and 19-inch bronze-painted forged aluminum wheels. Orders are almost equally divided between the three available body colors, Aluminum Metallic, Sparkling Black Mica, and Crystal White Pearl Mica.
Mazda commenced sales of the RX-8 in April 2003, and as of the end of March 2012, has produced 192,094 units (figure includes those intended for overseas sale). Mazda plans to end production of the RX-8 in June 2012.
Main features of the limited Mazda RX-8 SPIRIT R series (disclosed on October 7, 2011):
Special equipment for RX-8 SPIRIT R
For both manual and automatic transmission models
Front headlights, front fog lights and rear combination lights (with black bezels)
Front and rear brake calipers (red)
Larger brake rotors
Transmission tunnel trim (piano-black)
Curtain and front side SRS airbag system
Driving Stability Control and Traction Control System
Leather-wrapped steering wheel (black with red stitching)
Leather-wrapped parking brake lever (with red stitching)
Center console box with front seat armrest (synthetic leather with red stitching)
Rear console box with a lid (with synthetic leather)
Exclusive to the 6-speed manual transmission model
Bucket seats from RECARO (red and black leather* and fabric)
Hard suspension (with Bilstein dampers)
225/40R19 89W tires and 19-inch forged aluminum wheels (bronze)
Aluminum pedal set
Leather-wrapped shift knob (black with red stitching)
Exclusive to the 6-speed electronically-controlled automatic transmission model
Black leather seats (with red stitching)* and 8-way power seat with memory function
225/45R18 91W tires and 18-inch alloy wheels (gun metallic)
Heated front seats
Leather-wrapped shift knob (black)