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Review: 2009 Mazda RX-8 R3, return of the "hummer"

Hard as it may be to believe, the word "hummer" didn't always bring up visions of obnoxious, polarizing SUVs. In fact, there was a time not so very long ago that uttering that word evoked something entirely different, namely cars powered by Wankel rotary engines. For the past three decades, the world's sole purveyor of rotary-powered automobiles has been Mazda. The "Zoom-Zoom" brand has always been a little different from its compatriots. Back in 1963, a young Kenichi Yamamoto was heading up the research department at Mazda and latched on to the concept developed a decade earlier by Felix... Read More

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    Mazda RX-8
    Podcast: Submit your questions for Autoblog Podcast #244 LIVE
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    We record Episode #244 of the Autoblog Podcast tonight, and you can drop Chris, Dan and Zach your questions via our Q&A module below. Check out our discussion topics or chime in to help determine what else the crew chats about this evening, too. Subscribe to the Autoblog Podcast in iTunes if you haven't already done so, and if you want to take it all ...

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    Mazda RX-8
    SEMA 2010: Mazda brings some serious Zoom-Zoom to Las Vegas
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    Mazda builds plenty of sporty cars that incorporate a fun-to-drive feeling, but calling something a sports car does not automatically equate to a vehicle that is ready for the track. For the 2010 SEMA show, Mazda tweaked a handful of cars to show us just how quickly fun can turn into ferocious. Looking into its stable, Mazda reached in and pulled out a ...

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    Mazda RX-8
    SEMA 2009: World's only known four-rotor Mazda RX-8
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    We came across this RX-8 at SEMA and it immediately rang a bell. Time Attack, four-rotor, Mazda RX-8? It's the BMI Racing car we saw on Streetfire a while back. It's said to be the only four-rotor RX-8 in the world and it looks and sounds incredible. Don't believe us? You can see a couple of videos after the jump and judge for yourself. %Gallery-77443% ...

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    Mazda RX-8
    SEMA 2009: Mazda introduces us to a happy couple, inspires 3-some
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    For SEMA 2009, Mazda introduced us to a pair of the happiest Mazda3 derivatives we've ever seen. Part Le Mans-winning 787B tribute, part rolling showcase (for their Mazda accessories catalog) and part 40th anniversary present to itself, this couple with their odd, knowing smiles was pretty easy on the eyes. Built by Mazda R&D employees to show off ...

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    Mazda RX-8
    Redesigned Mazda RX-8 coming to Frankfurt? Not likely.
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    Several reports have surfaced over the past day indicating that Mazda is prepping a thoroughly redesigned RX-8 for display at the Frankfurt Motor Show this September. However, according to Mazda USA's director of communications, Jeremy Barnes, the next rotary-powered coupe won't debut for at least a few more years.Since Mazda just released the facelifted ...

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    Mazda RX-8
    Mazda bringing Circuit Trial RX-8, Demio and Atenza to Tokyo Auto Salon
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    Traditionally, Mazda has a large presence at the Tokyo Auto Salon, and the 2009 show won't be any different. Mazda will have 13 vehicles on hand in January to showcase the automaker's continued commitment to its "zoom-zoom" philosophy, along with concepts carrying the theme (and we quote) "Driving-oriented environmental technologies for endless driving ...

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    Mazda RX-8
    Detroit 2008: 2009 Mazda RX-8
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    Click the image above for a gallery of the 2009 Mazda RX-8.Mazda's redesigned RX-8 has officially been released into the wild and, surprise, it's exactly the same as the RS model that debuted at the Tokyo Auto Salon, right down to the wheels. Mazda admits that the 2009 RX-8 is simply a mild evolution of the outgoing model, with a few changes to the exterior ...

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    Mazda RX-8
    Mazda releases two images of updated RX-8 RS, many more leaked
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    click above for more images of the Mazda RX-8 RS var digg_url = 'http://davedeli.blogspot.com/2008/01/revealed-2009-facelifted-mazda-rx8-type.html'; According to World Car Fans, the vehicle you see above is the JDM-only RX-8 RS that's scheduled to be unveiled this week at the Tokyo Auto Salon, Japan's version of our own aftermarket SEMA Show. In advance ...

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    Mazda RX-8
    Rendered Speculation: Mazda RX-8 refresh
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    Japanese car magazines often use 'chopped photos willy-nilly, so take this with a grainy bit of salt, but it appears that a scan of the face-lifted Mazda RX-8 has hit the web. We'll know for sure if this low-resolution subterfuge is accurate or not when the actual freshened RX-8 has its sheet cleaved away at the NAIAS in Detroit. From what we can see, ...

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    Mazda RX-8
    Detroit 2008 Preview: Mazda Furai concept, 2009 RX-8 to debut
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    Click image to enlarge the Mazda Furai concept var digg_url = 'http://digg.com/motorsport/First_teaser_shot_of_the_racer_based_Mazda_Furai_concept'; Mazda has released a teaser shot of its Furai concept, which will debut next month in Detroit alongside the "heavily revised" 2009 RX-8. Its name translates from Japanese to "sound of the wind," and the car ...

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    Mazda RX-8
    Mazda to show a revised RX8 with gas/hydrogen hybrid engine in Tokyo
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    Hot on the heels of the news we brought you regarding the possibility of an enlarged rotary engine in the Mazda RX8, called the Renesis 2, now we hear that the Mazda folks will also be showing off a revised flex-fuel capable RX8 capable of running on gasoline and hydrogen. Not only that, but the car sounds like it'll be a hybrid too. You may recall that ...

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    Mazda RX-8
    Mazdaspeed2 is a possibility, restyled RX-8 coming to Tokyo
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    The questionably named Brit-pub What Car? is reporting what's already been suspected; that Mazda is seriously considering a MazdaSpeed version of the sub compact Mazda2. It's been rumored that a 2.0-liter turbocharged, direct-injected motor may find its way underhood, pushing out 230 HP and 231 lb.-ft. of torque (!). But as we already know, the Mazda2 won't ...

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    Mazda RX-8
    Frankfurt 2007: Mazda RX-8 Special Edition
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    Mazda is celebrating 40 years of putting engines inspired by pony kegs in their cars by rolling out a special version of the RX-8 2+2. Mazda's official hyperbole about the RX-8 brags that the car changed customer expectations of what an affordable sports car should be when they launched the four-place coupe in 2003. It sure did; we've now come to expect ...

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    Mazda RX-8
    Mazdaspeed MX-5 coming mid-2008, Kabura still in the works
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    The folks who bring us all the News from the Automotive world supplied Autoweek, their sister publication, details on what is to become of the Mazda lineup over the next three years. Most of it is predictable enough, including the new Mazda6, due to be unveiled in Frankfurt, the refresh of the Mazda3 and the possibility of bringing the Mazda2 Stateside at ...

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    Mazda RX-8
    Road & Track rumormill: Mazda RX-7 development underway
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    When the newest issue of Road & Track arrived in our mailbox, we were impressed that the 60th anniversary issue was sport compactalicious. The cover sports the new Mitsubishi EVO X alongside a photochopped '08 Impreza STI, and the inevitable shootout consists of the Civic Si, MazdaSpeed3, MINI Cooper S, Sentra SE-R Spec V and the VW GTI.What was more ...

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    Mazda RX-8
    Bright Stylish Special Specification! Mazda's Tokyo Auto Salon roster
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    Japan's 2007 Tokyo Auto Salon is approaching, and that means that manufacturers are in overdrive preparing a bevy of new production and concept vehicles, all of which are in keeping with the tunerrific flavor of the Salon. Mazda is the first to announce its seventeen-strong car lineup (details on each one in the PR after the jump), which is lead by the ...

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