Mazda has chosen to commemorate the departure of the company's RX-8 with one last special edition in Japan. The Mazda RX-8 Spirit R is set to arrive at Japanese dealerships next month and will offer 1,000 lucky buyers a host of aesthetic upgrades over the base vehicle. The package starts with an RX-8 RS and adds in exclusive badging, unique head- and taillights with black bezels and red brake calipers outside. Indoors, the cabin wears special Spirit R bucket seats hewn by the people at Recaro as well as piano black transmission tunnel trim.

Models equipped with an automatic transmission will enjoy black leather seats with red contrasting stitching. Mazda says that the RX-8 Spirit R will also feature a sport-tuned suspension and larger brakes, as well as 18-inch gun metallic wheels. A total of three exterior color options will be available, including Aluminum Metallic, Sparkling Black Mica and Crystal White Pearl Mica. Hit the jump for the press release.
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Mazda RX-8 SPIRIT R Coming to Japan in November 2011

- Mazda RX-8 production to end summer 2012; rotary engine development will continue -
HIROSHIMA, Japan-Mazda Motor Corporation has announced the Mazda RX-8 SPIRIT R, a special edition version of its four-door, four-seat rotary engine sports car. The RX-8 SPIRIT R will go on sale from November 24, 2011 at all Mazda and Mazda Anfini dealerships throughout Japan. Mazda RX-8 production will end in June 2012 and SPIRIT R will be the final special edition model. Mazda expects to sell 1,000 units.

Mazda RX-8 SPIRIT R (with six-speed manual transmission)

The RX-8 SPIRIT R is based on the RX-8 Type RS (with six-speed manual transmission) and Type E (with six-speed electronically-controlled automatic transmission). It is named after the final limited edition Mazda RX-7, and this pedigree is reflected in stylish features that include exclusive seat design and colored alloy wheels. Additionally, Mazda's curtain and front side SRS airbag system, which is available as a factory-installed option on the base models, will be offered as standard equipment. Following the launch, the Mazda RX-8 lineup will consist of the SPIRIT R and the Type G (with six-speed electronically-controlled automatic transmission) model grades only.

Takashi Yamanouchi, Mazda's Representative Director, Chairman of the Board, President and CEO, said, "Mazda's iconic rotary engine recorded its famous victory in the Le Mans 24-Hour endurance race 20 years ago. Throughout 2011, we have been celebrating the 20th anniversary of that victory by demonstrating the winning 787B racecar at Le Mans' Circuit de La Sarthe and various other events around the world. At each one, the screaming rotary engine and the sight of the 787B have enthralled everyone from young children to race fans who witnessed its victory in 1991. These events have been a powerful reminder of the widespread passion for the rotary engine. Although RX-8 production is ending, the rotary engine will always represent the spirit of Mazda and Mazda remains committed to its ongoing development."

Main features of the limited Mazda RX-8 SPIRIT R series

Base models
RX-8 Type RS (with six-speed manual transmission) and RX-8 Type E (with six-speed electronically-controlled automatic transmission)

Special equipment

For both manual and automatic transmission models
* Exclusive SPIRIT R badge
* Front headlights, front fog lights and rear combination lights (with black bezels)
* Front and rear brake calipers (red)
* Transmission tunnel trim (piano-black)
* Curtain and front side SRS airbag system

Exclusive to the manual transmission model
* Specially-made SPIRIT R bucket seats from RECARO
* 225/40R19 89W tires and 19-inch alloy wheels (bronze)

Exclusive to the automatic transmission model
* Leather seats (black with red stitching)
* Leather-wrapped steering wheel (black with red stitching)
* Parking brake lever (with red stitching)
* Center console box front seat armrest and rear console box lid covered with synthetic leather (with red stitching)
* Sports suspension, larger brakes
* 225/45R18 91W tires and 18-inch alloy wheels (gun metallic)

Exterior body colors
* Aluminum Metallic
* Sparkling Black Mica
* Crystal White Pearl Mica


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  • 75 Comments
      JasonERF
      • 3 Years Ago
      Can't understand the stupid comments... Any true petrol head should have some respect for this car. I would never buy one (just not my style) but I always enjoy seeing them on the road. They still look pretty damn good for their age. It will be missed.
        paratroopa07
        • 3 Years Ago
        @JasonERF
        American car culture. Bigger is always better. Faster is always better. Never much about the little things. Nearly every car literature out there has praised the way the car drives. The car and its engine were flawed in terms of performance yes and rotaries will never find widespread use, but any real carnut would appreciate/respect (not necessarily like) the engineering that went into the effort to go off the beaten path and the fact that the maker stayed true to its roots.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @JasonERF
        [blocked]
      Chibana
      • 3 Years Ago
      As a proud owner of a 2009 (Series II) RX-8, I can say this car is not for "numbers people"--those people who look at the specs in car magazines and give a thumbs up or down. This car is for people who appreciate steering precision, feel, and feedback, and exceptional, balanced handling from a car with a front-mid-engine configuration and low center of gravity. There's a reason this car beat much more expensive cars in two car magazines' "Best Handling Cars" comparisons--cars such as the Corvette Z06 (the most track-oriented version) and the Nissan GT-R. Those are all things that most Americans simply don't get or care about, and they're all things that can be appreciated every time you drive the car, unlike massive horsepower and torque that will simply get you arrested if you exercise them on public streets. To me, this is what separates a real driving enthusiast and a poser. And 9,000 RPM is great fun, and the sound is pure sex on wheels.
      reffect
      • 3 Years Ago
      As a current RX-8 owner, I have to say I love it--but they should've gone out with a bang and offered this special edition with a turbocharger attached to it and 300+ hp.
      LowellG
      • 3 Years Ago
      Been involved with sports cars for almost 35 years, racing (Porsche 356a. Fiat Abarth double bubble, Formula Junior). and my Mazda RX8 Shinka has to be the most fun high performance car I have owned and driven. It will be sorely missed by me.
      Duane
      • 3 Years Ago
      some of the most idiotic comments i ever found regarding the RX8! probably from these who never DRIVEN one or OWNED one or doesnt know how a rotary engine works. My friend had one and i have driven it from time to time. Sure it got depressing MPG, an engine you should "KNOW" how to take care of and a cabin that get hot even when the AC is on but performance wise it eats curves like a hot knife on butter. It revs til 9000rpm (can your Camaro do that?) so you can hold gears longer, best shifter i ever had the experienced other than the S2000, even better than the EVO or STi. Its fun to drive and precise at its limits and if you ask about the racing heritage, ask Patrick Dempsey coz he's racing in one. True Enthusiast and Petrolheads know the strenght of this car and these stupid comments here are probably from guys asking how many pistons this car has!
      pasigiri
      • 3 Years Ago
      to those making silly comments about this car: Driving a car fast is what the RX-8 is all about. If you are a true driving enthusiast, you would know what that means.
      jboogiezx6
      • 3 Years Ago
      always appreciated the rx8…sweet little car
      pasigiri
      • 3 Years Ago
      I owned an RX-8 for 6+ years. When I finally had to give her up she had nearly 130K on her. Same engine. Same tranny. AND IT WAS A 2004 BUILD!!!! Believe or not, my wife was sad to see it go. And she's not even really in to cars. All in all, I have never driven anything that had the road feel that that thing has. NEVER (... I've never driven a Porsche though)!!! People who bash this car seem to not know what road feel is. They seem to not care about handling. They seem to not understand the thrill of DRIVING a car FAST. All they seem to understand are fast cars.
        grandpa
        • 3 Years Ago
        @pasigiri
        i own a 2007 RX 8....at this point in my life I only need one car and could probably afford whatever i wanted.....I plan to keep the RX until it dies or I do whichever comes first.
          • 3 Years Ago
          @grandpa
          [blocked]
      Hashiryu
      • 3 Years Ago
      How the mighty have fallen. The R-7 spirit R was a lot more than "mostly" aesthetic....
        kevsflanagan
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Hashiryu
        I agree. I was hoping to read. "Beyond the aesthetics one will receive a bevy of MazdaSpeed parts. Intake, exhaust, strut bars, and coilovers will all be part of this limited edition." Shame we never received a MS edition of this car even if it was just a host of road hugging bits. Eliminate the back seats, some sound deadener lighter racing bucket seats plus the MS parts I mentioned above and most would of been happy.
        Hashiryu
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Hashiryu
        RX-7* dammit guys... Edit button!!!!
      srini
      • 3 Years Ago
      Owned the car for three and a half years, enjoyed every day I drove it. Most of the guys who complain about rotaries, either did not own one or did not know how to keep up with it. Would never have parted with it if I did not have to move to a different country. Will look forward to the next rotary car from Mazda.
        JF
        • 3 Years Ago
        @srini
        So YOU'RE the guy who needs to give away his car because he's moving to another country and needs my banking info to cover the shipping fees!?
      robert
      • 3 Years Ago
      My first new car was a 1976 Mazda 808, but I wanted a RX3. The rotarys were always a bit of an oddball, and you gotta love them for that. They ,along with the Miller cycle Millenia , are destined to become classics.
      Redline
      • 3 Years Ago
      What a great car. I hope Mazda continues on with the rotary tradition. Would have been cool if they tuned the engine/intake/exhaust a bit as well.
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