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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
    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
    Report: Mazda rotary reportedly at least a year behind schedule, but work continues
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    "We will never give up," says Mitsuo Hitomi, general manager of Mazda's powertrain division, referring to the automaker's long-running investment in the rotary engine. This vote of confidence in Felix Wankel's replacement for displacement will surely come as welcome news to rotor-heads around the globe, but that doesn't mean there aren't problems in ...

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    Mazda RX-8
    Report: Mazda rotary reportedly at least a year behind schedule, but work continues
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    "We will never give up," says Mitsuo Hitomi, general manager of Mazda's powertrain division, referring to the automaker's long-running investment into the rotary engine. This vote of confidence in Felix Wankel's replacement for displacement will surely come as welcome news to rotor-heads the world over, but that doesn't mean there aren't problems in ...

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    Mazda RX-8
    Shocking Rumor! Mazda considers RX-7 revival
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    Rumors about a true successor to the FD RX-7 have been kicking around automotive circles since... oh, just about exactly when the car left the world for good way back in 2002. While it could be argued that the Mazda RX-8 is a spiritual progeny of the Zoom-Zoom kingdom's white night, the four-door sports car doesn't quite stack up to its curvaceous ...

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    Mazda RX-8
    Mazda launches certified pre-owned program
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    Quite a few automakers have had success with certified pre-owned used car programs, and now Mazda is jumping on board by offering a CPO plan of its own. After all, used vehicles that have passed a rigorous inspection are more attractive to potential buyers, even though certified cars commonly carry a heavier price tag than their non-inspected lot ...

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    Mazda RX-8
    Is the sports car an endangered species? [w/poll]
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    The 2010 Camaro has been a boon for General Motors and its Chevrolet brand, with sales of 9,150 units in April alone. The Mustang is down a bit at 5,145 units for April, but that's expected to change once the vastly improved 2011 models begin rolling into Ford dealers around the country. Even the Dodge Challenger had its best month ever in April. We ...

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    Mazda RX-8
    Emissions regulations to kill Mazda RX-8 after 2011 model year?
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    According to "a well placed source at Mazda's North American Operations," Motor Trend is reporting that the aging RX-8 is set to exit stage left here in the States after the 2011 model year. As it is, the rotary-powered sportscar is slated to see the European guillotine at the same time due to its inability to meet Euro V emissions standards. There are ...

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    Mazda RX-8
    Mazda RX-8 to exit U.S. market after 2011 model year?
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    According to "a well placed source at Mazda's North American Operations," Motor Trend is reporting that the aging RX-8 is set to exit stage left here in the States after the 2011 model year. As it is, the rotary-powered sportscar is slated to see the European guillotine at the same time due to its inability to meet Euro V emissions standards. There are ...

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    Mazda RX-8
    Report: Next Mazda RX-7 in development, but don't hold your breath
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    It's the rumor that just refuses to die. We're not sure if that means there's a lot of truth behind it or it's just wishful thinking, but once again we're hearing that Mazda is hard at work on a new RX-7 sportscar. And while you might think such a vehicle would be as easy as adding a turbocharger to the existing Renesis-powered RX-8 and jettisoning the ...

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    Mazda RX-8
    Report: Next Mazda RX-7 testing with gasoline and diesel compatabile rotary
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    It's the rumor that just refuses to die. We're not sure if that means there's a whole heck of a lot of truth behind it or not, but once again we're hearing that Mazda is hard at work on a new RX-7 sportscar. And while you might think that making such a vehicle would be as easy as adding a turbocharger to the existing Renesis-powered RX-8 and jettisoning ...

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    Mazda RX-8
    Report: Mazda RX-8 denied re-entry into Europe
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    According to the crew at Auto Motor und Sport, the Mazda RX-8 won't be coming back to Europe for the 2011 model year. Why? The rev-rific rotary can't pass the Euro-5 emission standards and a replacement won't arrive until 2013. Mazda Germany exec, Joseph Alois Schmid, told AMuS that retrofitting the current engine would be too cost prohibitive and the ...

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    Mazda RX-8
    Mazda RX-8 to die as RX-7 resurfaces for 2012?
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    The rumormill just can't stop churning out stories of an impending Mazda RX-7 revival. We've been hearing that we should expect the rotary-powered sports car any day now... for the last few years. It's still yet to show its smiling face. Still, here we are with another report indicating that the next RX-7 is just around the corner, this time as a 2011 or ...

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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
    REPORT: Mazda's next-generation rotary needs more work
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    Though the rotary engine certainly has its fair share of detractors, many who find themselves behind the wheel of a Wankel-powered machine from Mazda fall in love with the engine's zippy and rev-happy characteristics... including this particular blogger, who purchased a new RX-8 back in 2004. Regardless, nobody can deny that the rotary has always been a ...

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    Mazda RX-8
    REPORT: NHTSA investigating Ford F-150 airbags, Mazda RX-8 clutch pedals
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    According to The New York Times' Wheels blog, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is currently in the early stages of investigating issues involving the 2005 Ford F-150 and 2004-2008 Mazda RX-8 models equipped with manual transmissions. In the case of the Blue Oval, NHTSA has received eight complaints of F-150 airbags that have either ...

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    Mazda RX-8
    REPORT: Mazda to release new fuel efficient engine in 2011
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    Mazda's previously announced promise to boost the fuel efficiency of its fleet of cars and trucks by 30 percent will officially kick off in the year 2011 as the Japanese automaker releases a new series of efficient powertrains, starting with its best-selling 2.0-liter four cylinder engine. That revised powerplant will be hooked up to a new six-speed ...

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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 delivers Norwegian-spec RX-8 Hydrogen RE
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    The first (of 30) Mazda Hydrogen RX-8 RE made its way to Norway last October, but that vehicle was simply imported from Japan. The first Norwegian-spec RX-8 Hydrogen RE was delivered to the Norwegian government this week. What's the difference? Well, left-hand-drive for one, and the European model also has a manual transmission. The car will participate ...

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    Mazda RX-8
    Turbocharged Mazda RX-8 to campaign in 2009 Targa Tasmania
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    Mazda's turbocharged RX-8 SP will be making its Australian rally debut at the 2009 Targa Tasmania. The 2,821-pound sports car, driven by Steve Glenney and co-driver Bernia Webb, will be competing in the "Showroom 2WD" class. Developed by Mazda Motorsport Australia, the coupe is powered by a rotary turbo engine rated at about 275-horsepower, with a ...

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