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click above image to view spy shots of the 2010 Mazda RX-8

Spy photographers for Brenda Priddy & Co. caught this very early development mule for the next-generation Mazda RX-8 testing, and it appears to be wearing a few of the car's new design elements that are obscured by covering. Priddy believes the cosmetic update will be quite extensive, though the basic layout of the car, its 2+2 seating and rear access doors will remain. The front covering is hiding what appears to be the new front end, and doing so very well. The headlights appear to be the same as the current car, though the side markers are also covered up and bulge out, indicating that the new car will likely be wider. Out back, meanwhile, are new taillights, as well. Some diagnostic equipment appears hooked up to one of the tailpipes, which also could indicate a new rotary for the RX-8, most likely the 16X Renesis that first appeared in the Taiki Concept at this year's Tokyo Motor Show. We're just speculating, of course, as the current RX-8 is still scheduled for sales duty up to at least the 2010 model year.

[Photos: Brenda Priddy & Co.]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      They should bring back the far, far better looking generation 3 RX-7 with an updated B-13 engine.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Needs a bit of a restyle on the back, as well. It is about time for a facelift or complete body re-style.

      It should have had a lift-back hatch, with an nice fastback roofline. The rear quarter windows in the freestyle doors are a bit less than sleek, too.

      The car isn't bad. With some engine refinement, and a bit of a refresh, styling wise, it could be better.
      • 7 Years Ago
      If you think the RX-8 needs a piston motor, then this is not the car for you. If you enjoy driving a car daily like you "stole it" (as previously stated) early in the comments, then the RX-8 is an option.

      RX-8's are for people who want something different. What other performances car on the market have suicide doors, or an engine that isn't piston.

      My 8's around 29K miles now, and still loves to redline on windy roads.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I get that it's a sports car, you don't buy it for fuel economy. But it's hard for me to consider an RX8 when I'm trying to tell my wife it's somewhat irresponsible to buy a big, heavy SUV...

      I don't want them to change it to a different engine, I just wish the mileage were a bit more competitive.
      • 7 Years Ago
      They should either expand their rotary offerings so they can justify R&D on it or just kill it. This half-assed approach is the worst, cause I want an 8, but not until they improve the rotary by quite a bit.
      • 7 Years Ago
      good to see them working on the new rotary already, hopefully it wont be so inefficient
        • 7 Years Ago
        Yup, it has the direct injection.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I've got nearly 40k on my 2004. It's been in the shop a bunch, but that's because I was basically a beta-tester for the first new version.

      As a family man, the RX-8 is about the perfect compromise of family-friendly seating with speed and design. It looks like nothing else on the road, it sounds like nothing else on the road.

      Oh, and I get 18-20mpg, depending on the type of driving I'm doing. Not great, but, as others have said, I didn't buy this car for the gas mileage.
      • 7 Years Ago
      "Hope they're not using that Skoda wagon as a benchmark for testing."

      LMAO... seriously that made me laugh

      on a serious note.. the rx-8 sorely needs some torque. if they can get that incorporated, along with some more impressive HP numbers maybe bump it up to 280 possibly, then it is a true contender for other coupes such as 350z, s2000 etc in my opinion
        • 7 Years Ago
        I agree that torque needs to be addressed. Mazda doesn't need to bump up the HP that much, another 50HP would be great though (dreaming here, lol). Impressive HP numbers definitely help sales. However, the key things with the RX-8 are improving handling and increasing torque, emphasis on torque. Shedding some extra pounds would help as in the word of Chapman, "add lightness."
      • 7 Years Ago
      This car looks to be purely a mechanical test mule. There is not really much done to the body at all. I currently drive an RX-8 and definitely wish it had more torque and better MPG. But it is a fun car to drive with a rev happy engine, a great chassis and remarkable practicality. Hopefully, Mazda builds on it for the next-gen RX. I only have 25K on my engine so the jury is still out on long-term reliability for mine.
      • 7 Years Ago
      An RX8 Gets about 16 mpg. WHY? I know it's a rotary and all, but come on. It's not even a big engine! The half-assed V6 in my 2006 Stratus gets 26mpg in the city for crying out loud and I thrash the thing. My car weighs more, has a crappy transmission etc... and yet it's far more economical. Until the Rotary can get 4banger numbers, it will never be popular. Because from an engine that small, in cars that are not bloated, it should be getting better mileage. I realize it is a performance car but it is a car you have to live with everyday. 16mpg from a car that takes premium and doesn't even have ALL that much power is unacceptable, and the primary reason behind the RX8's slow sales.

      I swear, they would be better off sticking the Mazdaspeed6 engine in the damn thing, tune it for more revs and be done with it.

      Mazda IS thick headed and stubborn when it comes to rotary engines. Whether or not they will succeed is another thing. But it is nice to see a manufacturer sticking to their guns, not unlike the AWD in Lambos.
        • 7 Years Ago
        The engine displacement is only half of the equation, you need to look at the power that the engine is making.

        you must have a magical car if you can flog it and get 26mpg, as it appears to get an average of 17-18mpg as far as i can tell:


        wheras the mazda (with 230HP from only 1.3L compared to the Status' 200HP from 2.7L!) gets about 16mpg:

        • 7 Years Ago
        What does AWD have to do with Lambos? Didn't all that start with the Audi parts bin? Same with Bentley going AWD.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I'm sorry but there is no way that the car can get 26mpg in both city and highway driving, unless the person constantly accelerates to 60 then brakes to a standstill over and over on the highway, and if they did i wouldnt be believing anything they said about the car.

        You say you dont car about "consumer reports" you care about your own docket (1st person evidence), yet you also believe one comment from a random person you met somewhere (hearsay).

        I have also spoken to RX8 owners who claim that the fuel economy is nowhere near as bad as other (non rx8) drivers make it out to be.

        So in the end you either have to believe an independant 3rd party, or own both for yourself.

        Appologies if I am wrong, but as I dont have the finances (nor the opportunity) to own both, I have to rely on other sources.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Hi Mazda...just wanted you to know, I was in the market for an RX-8 a few months ago...but concerns about reliability of your rotary engine as well as lack of torque pushed me to what I now drive, an '04 WRX...a shame too, I think the RX-8 is a beautiful car that is very well balanced. More power and more reliability...plz...kthxbai.
        • 7 Years Ago
        its reliable because it didnt break in 18k?

        let me know when its done 10 times that with no problems
        • 7 Years Ago
        Sonova...I should've bought an RX-8 then, because I sure do drive my WRX like I stole it sometimes. My Scooby sees redline on a probably-way-too-frequent basis, LOL.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Yeah Torque is a problem I tried racing a XLR of the line and he had a jump start and dam he had half a car length till we hit the 100s. I was not surprised but well i was bummed. Granted the XLR has more power but i was wishing i had a bit more low end for the launch. I love our RX8 versatility esp with 2 children. Gas mileage well our running joke is that we might as well own a Lambo.

        • 7 Years Ago
        I was in the same boat as you were, looking at an RX-8, but decided to go with the 02 WRX. No complaints, but I do know I will own a rotary powered Mazda one day in my life. They're very sleek and it handled well when I test drove it.
        I truly believe Mazda can bump up the power without sacrificing MPG's. Or vice versa. Please do it Mazda!
        • 7 Years Ago
        Being a recent RX-8 owner I can tell you that the engine is pretty rock solid. I did 18000 miles in the year I owned it and it ran like a dream (I had to sell it when I moved). Having spoken to a lot of mazda techs and rotary owners, the basic advice for owning a rotary is to make sure you drive it like you stole it.

        According to the techs, most of the engines they saw that had had trouble were the ones that were really babied and never revved up. So basically they ended up with carbon build-up on the valves which you really only burn off once you get north of 5k-6krpm.

        On a side not (and this is not directed to you at all), I will admit that the lack of any torque can be a major turnoff. While I love rotaries myself, they are not for everyone, and as much as I loved my RX-8, I wouldn't recommend it to anyone but only the most devoted of gearheads. In fact I wouldn't recommend anyone buy it just to look cool, because they do require a good amount of attention.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Mmmm...FD RX-7 w/ LS1 V8.
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