Rotary-engined sports coupe gets stiffer, quicker and meaner-looking
13 January 2008

It’s approaching five years since the Mazda RX-8 fizzed onto UK roads – a long time even in the life of a long-cycle sports car – and so later this year, Mazda will give its rotary-engined sports coupé a substantial midlife facelift.

The most obvious changes are to the car’s exterior: it’s getting new front and rear bumpers with more flared air intakes, new alloy wheels and bigger bore twin exhausts. However, those aren’t the only changes Hiroshima has in store.

Tweaks to the front and rear seat design will make the car that little bit more spacious, while the car’s centre console and steering wheel design has also been updated.

Underneath the bodywork, there have even been a few mechanical updates. Mazda’s engineers have reinforced the car’s body structure and suspension, adjusted its rear chassis geometry for better stability, improved the rigidity of the driveshaft for better refinement, and lowered the final drive ratio for stronger acceleration.

The revised RX-8 will go on sale in the UK in autumn 2008. At the same time a more hardcore version, badged RX-8 R3, will be made available, which gets sports suspension, a more aggressive body kit, 19in wheels, Recaro bucket seats and trick track rubber.

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