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October 25, 2008 · Print This Article

 

Launched in 2003, the Mazda RX-8 hit the global market with a serious bang. The RX-8 has won more than 50 global awards since its release including 2003 RJC Car of the Year in Japan 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. All together, Mazda has sold nearly 167,000 RX-8s around the world.

 

For 2009, Mazda will further the evolution of the four-door, four-seater sports coupe, giving RX-8 a refreshed exterior and interior design, enhanced performance and a new R3 sport package for the ultimate driving enthusiast.

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.

“Dating back to the Cosmo Sport released in 1967, every sports car ever developed by Mazda has had the same fundamental mission – to provide car lovers with a vehicle that’s fun-to-drive, exciting to look at and easy to own,” said Tetsu Nakazawa, Mazda North American Operations’ RX-8 vehicle line manager. “The 2009 RX-8 embodies that mission, conveying the unique and distinctive Mazda brand DNA to the fullest.”

To enhance the highly successful RX-8, Mazda engineers focused on innovation in three key areas for the 2009 RX-8: styling, performance and packaging. “The enhancements made to RX-8’s exterior, interior, packaging and performance takes it to a whole new level of visual and driving excitement,” remarked Nakazawa.

STYLING INNOVATION – REFRESHED DESIGN CUES PROVIDE “HIGH-QUALITY” DYNAMISM

2009 mazda rx-8 front left.JPG

RX-8 was designed with an athletically sculpted exterior that provides a sense of originality that’s unrivaled in the marketplace today. For 2009, RX-8 receives design enhancements that are meant to freshen the styling and give RX-8 a new look, without impairing the basic design theme. Refinements for the 2009 model year include restyled front and rear bumpers and front fascia; sporty, high quality finish front and rear headlamps; and larger exhaust pipes (now measuring 90 mm across). The 2009 RX-8 also offers a new five-spoke wheel design featuring a symbolic and sporty design reminiscent of the rotary engine, with different arrangements for each wheel size.

Taut muscular lines give RX-8 the liberating look of an athlete in motion. The muscular styling maintains classic sports car proportions while adding a Zoom-Zoom edge that is unmistakably Mazda.

The RX-8’s unique “freestyle” four-door design is proof that a true sports car does not need to sacrifice space or convenience for performance. The advanced design of the rear-hinged rear doors, provides a large door opening, allowing adult-sized passengers to easily enter and exit the vehicle. This design is also advantageous when securing a baby or a small child in the back seat. With a spacious rear seat area providing ample passenger room for four full-size adults, and enough trunk space for a weekend’s worth of luggage, this sports car proves its versatility.

The RX-8’s exterior styling presents a genuine sports car form, while the interior boasts a comfortable and intelligently designed cabin. Minor enhancements were made for the 2009 RX-8 to provide a simple and functional interior design that supports driving pleasure. The center IP shape was redesigned to give a feeling of dynamic movement, a variable red-zone was added to the tachometer that will rise as the engine comes to operating temperature and a new steering wheel and redesigned front and rear seats are also added.

An extremely low cabin floor allows the seats to be mounted low in the chassis, which, along with a low instrument cluster and hood, allows a low center of gravity and allows outstanding occupant visibility. Mazda designers concentrated on the shape of the front seat backs and the rear seat cushions to ensure adequate rear-seat knee room. Front seat slide-rails are positioned to allow maximum leg room for rear-seat passengers.

The rotary design element is incorporated through the interior of the RX-8 in creative ways, appearing in the seats. The stylish cabin also evokes a sense of luxury and high-end quality. Mazda’s design team examined every aspect and component of the interior and has created an elegant, driver-centric atmosphere. Through the use of advanced ergonomic research, Mazda engineers determined that improper seating posture is a major cause of driver fatigue and built in optimum support in the front seats to help offset discomfort. In addition, the color of the RX-8’s instrument cluster was developed to reduce eye fatigue and strain.

Article from blogs.automotive.com

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