Mazda Motor Corporation has upgraded its four-door, four-seat, rotary engine-equipped RX-8 sports car, which is to be sold at Mazda and Mazda Anfini dealers throughout Japan. Mazda is commencing sales of the 5-speed and 6-speed manual transmission models and accepting orders for the new 6-speed automatic transmission (AT) version from today. The 6-speed AT RX-8 goes on sale in mid-October 2006.
Since sales began in April 2003, the RX-8 has received widespread acclaim as a unique sports car powered by a rotary engine, in which four adults can ride comfortably.
The newly-adopted 6-speed AT model delivers reassuringly smooth acceleration and improved noise reduction at high speeds. In addition, a 6-port design of its rotary engine—2 ports more than the prior model—improves the intake efficiency, and the newly-added Active Adaptive Shift (AAS) control raises the ride quality and enjoyment of driving a sports car.
Additionally, new accessories improve the vehicle’s quality feel. For its exterior and interior, Mazda has introduced the "Sand Beige Leather Package" to the Type S and Type E models. The exterior features two new body colors, with a stark blue "Stormy Blue Mica" and radiant white "Crystal White Pearl Mica" having been added to the body color range to further emphasize the RX-8’s sporty pedigree and reputation for quality.
The monthly sales target for the upgraded RX-8 is set at 600 units a month.
Main features of the upgraded RX-8
Advancements to the AT models
6-speed automatic transmission
The adoption of the 6-speed AT, increased by two speeds over the base 4-speed, enabled the overall gear ratio range to be widened and the gaps between each gear to be reduced to achieve a better close ratio. This results in a more powerful, smoother acceleration and reduces shift shock, while improving noise reduction at high speeds and increasing fuel efficiency.
Adoption of the 6-port engine
The 6-port engine that up to now has only been used in the RX-8 Type S (6-speed manual transmission model) has been adopted for the 6-speed automatic transmission version, which until now mounted only a 4-port engine. This development pushes up the power output by increasing intake efficiency as well as further enhancing the torque produced at high revs—one of the special features of the rotary engine.
Advanced AAS (Active Adaptive Shift)
The AAS function optimizes transmission shift points based on driver input using data from various sensors (for example, in the accelerator and brake pedals) and vehicle handling (rate of acceleration, cornering etc), and this function has been further advanced in the upgraded RX-8. Accordingly, the AAS helps enhance the vehicle’s performance whether it is being driven in a relaxed way or more aggressively.
- Sand Beige Leather Package
- The following factory-installed options are available on the Type S and Type E models and improve its quality and sporty image:
- Sand beige-colored leather upholstery (with 8-way power adjustable seats and power adjustable lumber support) with door trims coordinated to suit.
- Leather steering wheel trim (2-piece type; the base model has the 4-piece type as standard).
- A leather-wrapped parking brake handle.
- Advanced keyless entry & starter system with two advanced keys.
- Water repellent glass coating (windshield glass, front door glasses, and door mirrors).
- 225/45R 18-inch tires and alloy wheels. (These are special equipment for the 6-speed AT, but are standard equipment on the MT model.)
- Front fog lights (These are special equipment for the 6-speed AT, but are standard equipment on the MT model.)
- Aluminum pedals (These are special equipment for the 6-speed AT, but are standard equipment on the MT model.)
Two sporty and high-quality body colors, "Stormy Blue Mica" and, "Crystal White Pearl Mica" have been added. There are now a total of eight colors for customers to choose from.