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Detroit show: Mazda's RX-8 gets a facelift

More aggressive: Revised RX-8 with the R3 sport package.

Upgraded Mazda RX-8 due here by mid-year with a six-speed auto option

17 Jan 2008

WITH a new and more aggressive style, the 2008 model Mazda RX-8 will arrive in Australia in the middle of this year with better performance and with a six-speed automatic transmission for the first time.

Revealed at the Detroit show, the facelifted RX-8 sports restyled front and rear bumpers, a bolder grille, upgraded front and rear lamps, a new five-spoke alloy wheel design (which is designed to reflect the rotary engine) and bigger, 90mm exhaust outlets.

Although the 177kW Renesis 1.3-litre rotary engine is unchanged, the final-drive ratio has been shorted from 4.44 to 4.78:1 to give the facelifted RX-8 slightly better acceleration.

22 center imageAuto buyers will get a better performance deal because, while power still has to be cut with the new six-speed unit (with steering-wheel paddle shifters), it is only down to 158kW compared with 141kW for the current four-speed auto. The auto redline is set at 7500rpm compared with 9000rpm for the manual.

A new R3 sport package shown at Detroit features a sports suspension with Bilstein dampers, a body package that includes a rear spoiler, side skirts, fog lights and a different bumper, 19-inch forged alloy wheels and Recaro seats.

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