Particular attention was paid by Mazda to the RX-8 equipped with an automatic transmission for 2006. The light and lithe 1.3L RENESIS rotary engine mated to an AT gets a 15-horsepower bump to 212 hp this year and the automatic itself is now six speeds strong rather than four.
The “SHINKA” special edition RX-8 also returns for 2006 (2005 model shown) and adds a bit of luxury to the high-revving sports car. Touches like a uniquely tuned suspension with upgraded shock absorbers and urethane-filled cross member supports provide a better balance of ride and handling, while new leather interior appointments, unique trim on the door and center consoles and a new finish for the 18-inch alloy rims sets the “SHINKA” special edition apart from standard fare.
The RX-8 with a six-speed manual soldiers on with the same 232-hp version of the RENESIS rotary engine. Both horsepower ratings were calculated using the new SAE J1349 rating process, so they are the real deal.