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MAZDA Ships New RX-8 with R3 Handling Package
Submitted by Dan Mazzella on Thursday, June 5, 2008 - 7:19am

IRVINE, Calif, June 4, 2008 – Mazda North American Operations today announced the first shipments of 2009 RX-8 sports coupes are being released to dealers across North America, and will soon be in showrooms.

For 2009, Mazda will further the evolution of the four-door, four-seat 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.
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.

Refinements for the 2009 model year include restyled front and rear bumpers and front fascia; sporty, high quality-finish front and rear lamps; and larger exhaust pipes. The 2009 RX-8 also offers a new five-spoke wheel featuring a symbolic and sporty design reminiscent of the rotary engine, with different arrangements for each wheel size.

Interior enhancements include redesigning the center instrument panel shape to give a feeling of dynamic movement. Additionally, a variable red-zone was added to the tachometer that rises as the engine comes to operating temperature, and a new steering wheel and redesigned front and rear seats add to the experience.

Through-and-through, the RX-8 is a pure sports car that gives the driver an exciting and dynamic experience. For 2009, engineers improved RX-8 body rigidity through the addition of structural reinforcements, by adding a trapezoidal strut tower bar and enhancing the local rigidity of the front suspension tower areas. Also, the rear suspension geometry has been reconfigured for better handling performance and driveshaft rigidity is improved, lowering NVH levels and improving performance.
Raising RX-8’s dynamics up a notch is the new R3 sport package. Providing the very best in rotary-powered motoring, the R3 harkens back to the R1 and R2 packages offered on the mighty third-generation RX-7, and adds a sport-tuned suspension with Bilstein shock absorbers and front suspension crossmembers filled with urethane foam. Filling the crossmembers makes for a smoother ride, minimized NVH and greater suspension control.

On the visual side of the package, a rear spoiler, side sills, fog lights and sporty front bumper are added to give an aggressive appearance, along with 19-inch forged aluminum-alloy wheels with high performance tires. Inside, the R3 adds a 300-watt BOSE® audio system with Centerpoint® surround sound and AudioPilot® noise compensation technology, Bluetooth hands-free phone system, front Recaro sport seats with leather side bolsters, leather-wrapped parking brake handle and Mazda advanced keyless entry and start system.

When the first 2009 RX-8s arrive at dealers, customers also will find an extension to Mazda’s warranty, extending coverage on the unique rotary engine to eight years/100,000 miles (whichever comes first). The balance of the powertrain warranty remains at five years/60,000 miles, and the basic warranty at three years/36,000 miles.

The warranty extension is proof of the company’s faith in the rotary engine, a hallmark of Mazda’s engineering leadership since 1967 when it first appeared in the Cosmo Sport 110S. Additionally, Mazda will extend this eight year/100,000 mile warranty retroactively to all existing 2004-2008 model year RX-8s – again, to show their support of the longevity of the engine. Customers with questions regarding the warranty should contact their local Mazda dealership or the Mazda Customer Assistance Center at 1-800-222-5500. All existing RX-8 customers were contacted directly by Mazda to notify them of this warranty change, beginning on May 30, 2008.
Headquartered in Irvine, Calif., Mazda North American Operations oversees the sales, marketing, parts and customer service support of Mazda vehicles in the United States, Canada and Mexico through nearly 900 dealers. Operations in Canada are managed by Mazda Canada, Inc., located in Ontario, Canada, and in Mexico by Mazda Motor de Mexico in Mexico City.


EDITOR’S NOTE: For more information on Mazda vehicles, visit the online Mazda media center at www.mazdausamedia.com.

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