The RX-8 is little changed for the 2007 model year. It is available in two new colors-Crystal White Pearl and Stormy Blue Mica-a 6-CD changer becomes standard equipment in the Touring and Grand Touring versions, and the Grand Touring trim is available with Sand leather-trimmed seats.
Mazda alone among automakers has persisted in developing the rotary engine and uses the latest version to power its RX-8, a unique 4-door sports car. The rotary engine doesn't have pistons in cylinders, but a triangular rotor in a cocoon-shaped combustion chamber. Rather than pumping up and down, the rotor spins to produce its power. A rotary engine can provide substantial horsepower in a compact package. Thus, the RX-8 powerplant displaces only 1.3 liters, yet generates 232 hp when linked to a 6-speed manual transmission and 212 hp when joined with a 6-speed automatic.
The RX-8 is different not only in technology but in its design, which Mazda calls "freestyle" and "athletically sculpted," and has interior accommodations that provide room for four occupants, not just two as in most sports cars. Access to the car's interior is eased by its rear-hinged rear access doors. The RX-8 looks like an automotive athlete, but is more sleek and taut than muscle bound. Even with its 4-seat interior architecture, the RX-8 is a rear-drive sports car with racing-style suspension and exciting dynamic capabilities.
Four trim packages are available. One step up from the base level, which comes with six air bags (including side curtains), is the Sport package that adds high-intensity discharge headlamps, fog lamps, and dynamic stability control, as well as 18-inch wheels, a limited-slip differential, a sport-tuned suspension, and larger brakes. The Touring package adds a moonroof, an auto-dimming mirror, a Bose audio system, and Homelink. The Grand Touring trim adds a power-adjustable feature to the driver's seat and leather seating with heated front seats. Available options include a DVD-based navigation system.
The Mazda RX-8 competes in the Midsize Sporty segment, which consists of five models. Buyers in this segment look for exterior styling, performance, and quality, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2006 Avoider StudySM and the Escaped Shopper Study.SM
The top sellers in the segment during calendar year 2006, according to the J.D. Power and Associates Sales Report,SM were the Ford Mustang (166,530 units sold), Toyota Camry Solara (50,815), and Chevrolet Monte Carlo (34,113). The Mazda RX-8 sold 9,343 units in 2006, a decrease of 37.2 percent compared to the previous year. Other models offered in the Midsize Sporty segment include the Mitsubishi Eclipse.
|Sport (A6)||6 speed automatic||$26,435||212-hp / 1.3L 0-cyl||18/25|
|Touring (M6)||6 speed manual||$29,535||232-hp / 1.3L 0-cyl||18/24|
|Grand Touring (M6)||6 speed manual||$31,070||232-hp / 1.3L 0-cyl||18/24|