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Info & specs

Mazda RX-8

Mazda RX-8 side view
Mazda RX-8 angular front perspective
Mazda RX-8 angular rear perspective

Overview of the Mazda RX-8

Learn about the Mazda RX-8

Summary

Fearsome power, impeccable precision and a low price point make the Mazda RX-8 stand out from the crowd. Its aerodynamic sculpted exterior, six-speed manual transmission and the brand’s famous rotary engine combine to make the RX-8 a blindingly fast machine without ever sacrificing control. The RX-8 was discontinued in 2012, so while that makes it low-priced, the car’s fuel economy makes it costly to run and not the most eco-friendly choice. But if you’re after a sports car that meets practical needs, it's hard to beat.

Safety

The RX-8’s safety features are up to the task of matching the car’s impressive power. You’ll find the following features across all years, from its very first 2004 model:

  • Dynamic stability control, which gives you the tools you need to stay on track
  • MAIDAS, Mazda’s Advanced Impact Distribution and Absorption System, is oriented around passenger and driver safety
  • Reinforced rear doors to provide a brace in the event of side-impact
  • Four-wheel disc anti-lock brakes to assist during sudden, fast stops
  • Traction control, which helps the car grip the road
  • Driver, front passenger and side airbags, protecting you in the event of a crash

Interior

The interior of the RX-8 was designed with performance in mind, but that doesn’t mean it sacrifices any luxury. The rear hinge “freestyle” doors provide easy access to the back seat, a perk that other sports cars lack. The controls are laid out intuitively so they’re easy to reach while driving. Similarly, smartly placed dials are backlit and simple to use, meaning you always have the information you need on hand. 

Standard RX-8s come in a cloth trim, but upgraded models bring in leather—and heated seats. Aluminum detailing lets you know you’re in a sports car, while the standard tilt-adjustable leather-wrapped steering wheel allows you to guide your ride in comfort.

Technology

The RX-8 went out of production in 2012, and as a result, it lacks the tech suites of modern vehicles. However, it’s not without its own fun items: A Bose surround-sound audio system, for example, comes standard on all models. Some trims, like the Grand Touring, even include Bluetooth integration and a touchscreen navigation system to help you get where you're going—added in the 2009 model year.

Space

With four doors and four seats, the RX-8 is surprisingly spacious for a sports car. Even the 290 L trunk has far more in the way of cargo space than most other cars in this category. This means the RX-8 isn’t just suitable for racers but has practical applications for driver and passengers, too.

Comfort

The Mazda RX-8’s Renesis rotary engine delivers power and acceleration in a ride that’s far smoother than what sports vehicles with piston engines can deliver, even though the latter type is generally more cost-effective. You can expect fluid, stable handling even at high speeds thanks to the car’s following standard specs from the 2005 model:

  • Rear-wheel drive
  • Electric power steering
  • Balanced weight distribution
  • Double-wishbone suspension at the front and multi-link suspension at the rear

Pros and cons of the Mazda RX-8

  • Nimble handling
  • Spacious interior
  • Impressive list of features
  • Rotary engine lacks low-end power
  • High fuel consumption
  • Ceased production in 2012
This is general information and should not be relied on as purchasing advice.

Specifications of the Mazda RX-8

Key specifications available across all trim levels
  • Seats4
  • Doors4
  • Fuel typeGas
  • TransmissionAutomatic or Manual
  • City consumption12.8 - 13.3 L/100km
  • Highway consumption8.6 - 9.2 L/100km
  • Width1770 mm
  • Length4424 - 4470 mm
  • Trunk space290 L
  • Cargo space290 L
Exact values depend on trim and engine choice.

Trims available with the Mazda RX-8

What is a trim? Trims are different options of the same car with different features and equipment. The specs depend on the trim you choose.This variant of the Mazda RX-8 2004 - 2011 is available in 5 trims:

GS trim features and specs

Available with the GS trim:
  • Sport seats in the front
Available across all trims:
  • Center arm rest between front seats
  • Electric windows
  • Leather steering wheel
  • Multifunction steering wheel
  • Power steering
  • Tire repair kit
Available across all trims:
  • Alloy wheels
  • Daytime running lights
  • Door mirrors electrically adjustable
  • Fog lights
  • Headlight cleaners
Available with the GS trim:
  • Dimming interior mirror (optional)
  • Dusk sensor
  • Rain sensor (optional)
Available across all trims:
  • Anti-lock Braking System (ABS)
  • Disc brakes
  • Front-driver airbag
  • Front-passenger airbag
  • Rear-wheel drive
  • Side airbag
  • Side curtain airbag
Available with the GS trim:
  • MP3-CD player (optional)
Available across all trims:
  • CD disc changer
  • Cruise control
  • Keyless entry
  • Power door locks
  • Radio
4 engines are available with the GS trim:
2.6 L - Gas - 197 hp
City consumption:12.9 - 13.1 L/100km
Highway consumption:8.8 - 9 L/100km
Transmission:Automatic
Range:-
2.6 L - Gas - 212 hp
City consumption:12.9 L/100km
Highway consumption:8.6 L/100km
Transmission:Automatic
Range:545 km
2.6 L - Gas - 232 hp
City consumption:12.8 L/100km
Highway consumption:9.2 L/100km
Transmission:Manual
Range:535 - 571 km
2.6 L - Gas - 238 hp
City consumption:12.8 L/100km
Highway consumption:9.2 L/100km
Transmission:Manual
Range:-

SE trim features and specs

Available with the SE trim:
  • Electrically adjustable front seats
  • Heated front seats
  • Rear seat ski hatch
  • Sport seats in the front
Available across all trims:
  • Center arm rest between front seats
  • Electric windows
  • Leather steering wheel
  • Multifunction steering wheel
  • Power steering
  • Tire repair kit
Available with the SE trim:
  • Sunroof (optional)
  • Xenon headlights
Available across all trims:
  • Alloy wheels
  • Daytime running lights
  • Door mirrors electrically adjustable
  • Fog lights
  • Headlight cleaners
Available with the SE trim:
  • Dimming interior mirror
  • Electronic traction control
  • Stability control
Available across all trims:
  • Anti-lock Braking System (ABS)
  • Disc brakes
  • Front-driver airbag
  • Front-passenger airbag
  • Rear-wheel drive
  • Side airbag
  • Side curtain airbag
Available across all trims:
  • CD disc changer
  • Cruise control
  • Keyless entry
  • Power door locks
  • Radio
2 engines are available with the SE trim:
2.6 L - Gas - 232 hp
City consumption:12.8 L/100km
Highway consumption:9.2 L/100km
Transmission:Manual
Range:-
2.6 L - Gas - 238 hp
City consumption:12.8 L/100km
Highway consumption:9.2 L/100km
Transmission:Manual
Range:-

GT 40th Anniversary trim features and specs

Available with the GT 40th Anniversary trim:
  • Electrically adjustable front seats
  • Front seats have lumbar support
  • Heated front seats
  • Sport seats in the front
Available across all trims:
  • Center arm rest between front seats
  • Electric windows
  • Leather steering wheel
  • Multifunction steering wheel
  • Power steering
  • Tire repair kit
Available with the GT 40th Anniversary trim:
  • Sunroof
  • Xenon headlights
Available across all trims:
  • Alloy wheels
  • Daytime running lights
  • Door mirrors electrically adjustable
  • Fog lights
  • Headlight cleaners
Available with the GT 40th Anniversary trim:
  • Dimming interior mirror
  • Electronic traction control
  • Stability control
Available across all trims:
  • Anti-lock Braking System (ABS)
  • Disc brakes
  • Front-driver airbag
  • Front-passenger airbag
  • Rear-wheel drive
  • Side airbag
  • Side curtain airbag
Available across all trims:
  • CD disc changer
  • Cruise control
  • Keyless entry
  • Power door locks
  • Radio
1 engine is available with the GT 40th Anniversary trim:
2.6 L - Gas - 232 hp
City consumption:12.8 L/100km
Highway consumption:9.2 L/100km
Transmission:Manual
Range:535 km

R3 trim features and specs

Available with the R3 trim:
  • Air conditioning (automatic)
  • ISOFIX installation points
  • Rear seat ski hatch
Available across all trims:
  • Center arm rest between front seats
  • Electric windows
  • Leather steering wheel
  • Multifunction steering wheel
  • Power steering
  • Tire repair kit
Available with the R3 trim:
  • Short wheel base
  • Xenon headlights
Available across all trims:
  • Alloy wheels
  • Daytime running lights
  • Door mirrors electrically adjustable
  • Fog lights
  • Headlight cleaners
Available with the R3 trim:
  • Dimming interior mirror
  • Dusk sensor
  • Electronic traction control
  • Rain sensor
  • Stability control
Available across all trims:
  • Anti-lock Braking System (ABS)
  • Disc brakes
  • Front-driver airbag
  • Front-passenger airbag
  • Rear-wheel drive
  • Side airbag
  • Side curtain airbag
Available with the R3 trim:
  • Bluetooth
  • MP3-CD player
Available across all trims:
  • CD disc changer
  • Cruise control
  • Keyless entry
  • Power door locks
  • Radio
1 engine is available with the R3 trim:
2.6 L - Gas - 232 hp
City consumption:12.8 L/100km
Highway consumption:9.2 L/100km
Transmission:Manual
Range:571 - 572 km

GT trim features and specs

Available with the GT trim:
  • Air conditioning (automatic)
  • Driver seat has lumbar support
  • Electrically adjustable front seats
  • Front seats have lumbar support
  • Heated front seats
  • ISOFIX installation points
  • Paddle shifters (optional)
  • Rear seat ski hatch
  • Sport seats in the front
Available across all trims:
  • Center arm rest between front seats
  • Electric windows
  • Leather steering wheel
  • Multifunction steering wheel
  • Power steering
  • Tire repair kit
Available with the GT trim:
  • Short wheel base
  • Sunroof (optional)
  • Xenon headlights
Available across all trims:
  • Alloy wheels
  • Daytime running lights
  • Door mirrors electrically adjustable
  • Fog lights
  • Headlight cleaners
Available with the GT trim:
  • Dimming interior mirror
  • Dusk sensor (optional)
  • Electronic traction control
  • Rain sensor (optional)
  • Stability control
Available across all trims:
  • Anti-lock Braking System (ABS)
  • Disc brakes
  • Front-driver airbag
  • Front-passenger airbag
  • Rear-wheel drive
  • Side airbag
  • Side curtain airbag
Available with the GT trim:
  • Bluetooth (optional)
  • MP3-CD player (optional)
  • Navigation system (optional)
  • Satellite radio (optional)
Available across all trims:
  • CD disc changer
  • Cruise control
  • Keyless entry
  • Power door locks
  • Radio
4 engines are available with the GT trim:
2.6 L - Gas - 197 hp
City consumption:12.9 - 13.1 L/100km
Highway consumption:8.8 - 9 L/100km
Transmission:Automatic
Range:-
2.6 L - Gas - 212 hp
City consumption:12.9 - 13.3 L/100km
Highway consumption:8.6 - 8.9 L/100km
Transmission:Automatic
Range:545 - 566 km
2.6 L - Gas - 232 hp
City consumption:12.8 L/100km
Highway consumption:9.2 L/100km
Transmission:Manual
Range:535 - 572 km
2.6 L - Gas - 238 hp
City consumption:12.8 L/100km
Highway consumption:9.2 L/100km
Transmission:Manual
Range:-

Frequently asked questions about the Mazda RX-8

The RX-8 is powered by Mazda’s unique RENESIS Wankel rotary engine, which is smoother than a traditional piston engine because the design uses far fewer components.

Known for its unique "freestyle" doors, the Mazda RX-8 is a compact sports car suitable for both everyday use and driving on a track.

Production of the Mazda RX-8 ceased in 2012, so models you find will likely be second-hand. Prices usually range from $3,000 to $5,000.

As is typical in sport and racing cars, the Mazda RX-8 has rear-wheel drive as opposed to front-wheel drive to distribute the drivetrain’s weight across the vehicle.

The Mazda RX-8 seats four, which is unusually accommodating, as rear seating isn't typical in a sports car build.