From Mazda press: Launched in 2003, the Mazda RX-8 hit the global market with a serious bang. The RX-8 has won 48 global vehicle awards since its release including 2003 Japanese Car of the Year, Australia's Wheels magazine's Car of the Year for 2003, 2003 International Engine of the Year, 2004 Singapore Car of the Year, the 2004 U.S.
Best Sports Car and UK Car of the Year 2004. It was also named on Car and Driver magazine's Ten Best list for 2004, 2005, and 2006. In addition, the RENESIS Rotary Engine has won nine awards since 2003. All together, Mazda has sold nearly 182,000 RX-8s around the world.
Significantly updated for 2009 with a refreshed exterior and interior design, enhanced performance and an R3 model for the ultimate driving enthusiast, RX-8 maintains the same great features for 2010, while refining a few simple touches. To better accommodate consumer demands, the 2010 RX-8 is available with two trim levels - Sport and Grand Touring - and the R3 model, specially designed with the enthusiast in mind. Unchanged is the core of the RX-8 - a high-powered, lightweight and perfectly balanced machine powered by the world-renowned twin-rotor RENESIS rotary engine.
Through-and-through, the RX-8 is a pure sports car that gives the driver an exciting and dynamic experience. With its superior body rigidity and structural reinforcements, the rear suspension geometry was reconfigured for the 2009 model year for better handling performance and improved driveshaft rigidity.
To achieve this sophisticated dynamic, Mazda utilizes the advanced RENESIS (Rotary Engine genesis - or rebirth of the rotary engine) engine.
The Mazda RX-8 remains the only mass-produced rotary-powered passenger car in the world. While exhibiting unusually high power output for a naturally aspirated engine, RENESIS outstrips comparable reciprocating engines in terms of acceleration, the feeling of power in reserve and quick response.
The Mazda RX-8 is available as either a 232-horsepower model fitted with a six-speed manual transmission, or a 212-horsepower model fitted with a six-speed automatic with steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters for a Formula 1-style driving experience.