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2008 Mazda RX-8 Coupe - Overview

Research another RX-8:

$26,435 – $32,070 MSRP

$24,458 – $29,658 Invoice

16 / 22 MPG City/Hwy


2008 Mazda RX-8 Coupe

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What Changed for 2008:

  • New 40th Anniversary model to celebrate 40 years of rotary engines
Mazda alone among automakers has persisted in developing the rotary engine. The company introduced its latest version in the RX-8, a one-of-a-kind 4-door sports car that was launched for the 2004 model year. The RX-8 is different not only in technology but in its design, which Mazda calls "freestyle" and "athletically sculpted." It has interior accommodations for four, not just two as in most sports cars. Access to the rear bucket seats is eased by rear-hinged rear access doors. Even with its 4-seat interior architecture, the RX-8 is a rear-wheel-drive (RWD) sports car with racing-style suspension. The small size of the rotary engine allows for perfect 50/50 weight distribution. The trunk has 7.6 cubic feet of cargo room, and a trunk pass-through accommodates long objects.

Model Lineup
The 2008 Mazda RX-8 is offered in Sport, Touring, Grand Touring and the new-for-2008 40th Anniversary Edition trim levels. Standard equipment on the Sport model with the automatic transmission includes cloth upholstery; air conditioning; tilt leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls; cruise control; power windows, mirrors and door locks; remote keyless entry; 6-speaker AM/FM/CD stereo; and P225/55R16 tires on alloy wheels. The Sport model with the manual transmission has a limited-slip differential, a sport suspension, larger brakes, and P225/45R18 tires. Touring models have the Sport manual's equipment, plus a sunroof; Bose sound system with 6-disc CD changer; auto-dimming rearview mirror; universal garage door opener; fog lights; and Xenon headlights. Grand Touring models add leather upholstery; heated front seats; 8-way power driver's seat; heated exterior mirrors; and keyless access and starting. The new 40th Anniversary model has unique alloy wheels; performance suspension; a silver engine cover; Metropolitan Gray paint; and Cosmo Red leather interior. Available options include a DVD-based navigation system; Sirius satellite radio with 6-month subscription; rear cargo organizer; rear spoiler; and an alarm.

A rotary engine revs freely and can provide substantial power in a compact package, Mazda says. Thus, the 2008 Mazda RX-8's RENESIS 2-rotor rotary powerplant displaces 1.3 liters, yet generates 232 hp at 8500 rpm and 159 lb.-ft. of torque at 5500 rpm when linked to the available 6-speed manual transmission. With the 6-speed automatic transmission, it makes 212 hp at 7500 rpm and 159 lb.-ft. of torque at 5500 rpm. The automatic can be shifted manually via the floor shifter or steering wheel paddles. The RX-8 is EPA rated at 16 mpg city/23 mpg highway with the manual transmission and 16 mpg city/22 mpg highway with the automatic transmission.

Standard safety equipment on the 2008 Mazda RX-8 includes dual front air bags; torso-protecting front side air bags; head-protecting curtain side air bags; anti-lock 4-wheel disc brakes with electronic brake-force distribution; and a tire-pressure monitor. All but Sport models also have traction control and electronic stability control. In tests conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the Mazda RX-8 received a 4-star rating for the driver and a 5-star rating for the front passenger in frontal impacts, 4-star ratings for front- and rear-seat occupants in side impacts, and a 5-star rating for rollover resistance. The RX-8 has not been crash tested by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

A rotary engine, such as in the 2008 Mazda RX-8, doesn't have pistons in cylinders. Instead it has a triangular rotor spinning in a cocoon-shaped combustion chamber. Rather than pumping up and down, the rotor spins to produce power. Mazda says the RENESIS rotary engine is 60-percent smaller and lighter than a comparable V-6 and 40-percent smaller and lighter than a comparable 4-cylinder engine.

Available Trims for the 2008 Mazda RX-8 Coupe

  Transmission MSRP Engine City/Hwy MPG
Sport (A6) 6 speed automatic $26,435 212-hp / 1.3L 0-cyl 16/23
Touring (M6) 6 speed manual $29,535 232-hp / 1.3L 0-cyl 16/22
Grand Touring (M6) 6 speed manual $31,070 232-hp / 1.3L 0-cyl 16/22
40th Anniversary Edition (M6) 6 speed manual $31,370 232-hp / 1.3L 0-cyl 16/22

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