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.
While the Buzz at Tokyo was all about the Nissan GT-R, Mazda is apparently working on a sports car of its own that may eventually generate as much heat as the GT-R. Word from the show floor is that the automaker will unveil a “true sports car” concept at the next Tokyo motor show in 2009, followed by the production version in 2011. That’s only an eye-blink in the auto industry.
Details are scarce, but it’s confirmed that the car will be rear drive and true to Mazda’s history of sports cars. Does that mean rotary? It’s tempting to make that connection, given the larger-capacity rotary engine Mazda displayed in its booth this year. It now has been more than 40 years since the first rotary engine appeared in 1967 in Mazda’s Cosmo Sport.
Imagaine a production Mazda sports car going on sale in 2011 as a 2012 model tie-in to the 45th anniversary of the rotary. Perhaps the return of the Cosmo from the company that popularized rotaries? It could happen.
Meanwhile, the RX-8 should soon get Mazda’s new 16x Wankel rotary, introduced under the hood of the Taiki Tokyo concept. The 16X Renesis rotary is 1600 cubic centimeters (800 cc times two rotors) with a new trochoid chamber shape for a much needed torque boost and better thermal efficiency. Engineers reduced the rotor housing width and housing thickness and increased the trochoid outline and generally maintained the compact, lightweight size of the current 1308cc 13B. The 16X also is the first rotary to use direct fuel injection, adapted from the hydrogen 13B.
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