Later in 2008, Mazda is introducing a new version of its unique rotary-engined, four‑seater, four-door coupe – the Mazda RX-8 R3. Powered by an improved version of the 231ps twin-rotor engine, the new R3 will offer drivers a heightened experience with faster steering, chassis and engine responses, more refinement, more equipment and even greater value.
On sale from late August 2008, the new Mazda RX-8 R3 will be priced at £24,995 (on‑the‑road) and, together with the Mazda MX-5, is sure to maintain Mazda’s position as ‘Britain’s favourite sportscar brand’ with a 25 per cent share of that market sector.
“New Mazda RX-8 R3 is the ultimate expression of Mazda’s brand DNA, demonstrating our determination to do things differently,” enthuses Mark Cameron, Mazda UK Marketing Director.
“The R3 delivers an even more focused and even more sporty driving experience, while retaining the original model’s many uniquely attractive technical innovations and adding numerous premium features.
“Thanks to its Sports Styling Pack, stiffer body shell, up-rated suspension, lower gearing, enhanced aerodynamics and new Recaro sports seats, the new Mazda RX-8 R3 is a truly exciting sportscar with immense driver appeal. It remains the perfect ‘flagship’ model for Mazda in the UK,” adds Cameron.
“The changes made for R3 have not detracted in any way from the unique selling points that made the Mazda RX-8 such a stunning car at its 2003 launch. RX-8 is still the world’s only rotary-engined production car, and that very rare creation, a genuine four-seater coupe. The free-style doors ensure good access and the car has the typical Mazda functionality, practicality and reliability that also make it a ‘use-me-every-day’ kind of car. With the new-look Sports Styling Pack for the RX-8 R3, Mazda is taking a step back towards its sportscar heritage, giving its coupe the appearance of a Japanese racing car,” declares Cameron.
The standard-fit Sports Styling Pack comprises a sport front bumper, side skirts and rear wing all finished in body colour. The new model’s front wings no longer feature the air-extractor vents behind the wheel arches and accommodate the turn-repeater light instead.
Mazda RX-8 has always had the appearance of a classic sportscar with a powerful‑looking and dynamic exterior design. The new R3 version enhances this with a new front bumper design that has a larger five-point grille and oil cooling openings (below the front fog lights), that are nearly twice as large as on the original model for an even stronger look and improved cooling. Added to this are new front headlamps, new front fender designs, new twin round LED rear lamps and a redesigned rear bumper with larger exhaust pipes (now 90mm in diameter) – all executed with a beautiful attention to detail and a superb build quality that Mazda drivers have grown to expect.
The more aggressive appearance created by the revised styling is complemented by the all-new larger diameter 19-inch alloy wheels with ultra-low profile 40 section tyres. These extra-light wheels have five ‘rotor-shaped’ spokes and are finished in dark titanium.
At under £25,000, the new RX-8 R3 is still incredibly good value for a 146mph sportscar with the ability to reach 62mph in just 6.4 seconds. A previous model RX-8 of equivalent power, with leather trim and metallic paint would actually have cost more than the highly specified new RX-8 R3.
The new Mazda RX-8 R3 will be available in four new body colours – Aurora Blue mica, Crystal White pearlescent, Diamond Grey metallic and Sparkling Black mica – and two carry-over colours, Sunlight Silver metallic and Velocity Red mica. A solid paint finish is not available and whatever colour customers choose, there is no additional charge.Published 14 July 2008