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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 predecessor. It would seem that Autocar is doing its best to keep the flame alive for the return of the RX-7, this time with – gasp – a ne

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Porsche 911 Turbo – Click above for high-res image gallery

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2009 Mazda RX-8 – Click above for high-res image gallery

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2009 Mazda RX-8 – Click above for high-res image gallery

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Mazda Furai Concept – Click above for high-res image gallery

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Mazda Furai Concept – Click above for high-res image gallery

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Mazda RX-8 R3 - Click above for high-res image gallery

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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 2012 model.

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BMI Racing Mazda RX-8 four-rotor - Click above for high-res image gallery

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2009 Mazda RX-8 - Click above for high-res image gallery

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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.

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Mazda RX-8 R3 - Click above for high-res image gallery

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Mazda Hydrogen RX-8 - Click for a high res gallery

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Mazda's Wankel rotary engine has always been unique in the automotive landscape as a mass-produced internal combustion engine that eschews such unsightly items as pistons, valves and camshafts. The Wankel packs lots of power into a very small package, but one thing it's never been is fuel efficient, despite its relatively meager 1.3-liters of displacement. It seems the Japanese automaker is working hard to change that reputation with the next generation of the RX series.

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Click above to view Top 10 Cars You Should Drive on a First Date

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Mazda is in a unique position in the automobile world with its rotary engine. The Wankel engine happens to run rather well on hydrogen and is not as susceptible to many of hydrogen's shortcomings as other internal combustion engines. The Japanese automaker has had hydrogen-fueled rotary-powered cars on the roads for the last few years and the automaker has previously suggested that it hopes to have a hydrogen-fueled car in production within the next five years.

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Click on the RX-8 for a high res gallery

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Click above for more high-res images of the 2009 RX-8

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Click above for more shots of the Mazda-rrari RX-8

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Click above for high-res gallery of the 2009 Mazda RX-8.

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