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

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 RX-8 last year, a full-scale overhaul seems a bit hasty, particularly considering the four-door coupe's niche status. If something does arrive in Frankfurt, it's likely a region-specific model, packing some additional features (new Recaro seats and infotainment package, say) akin to the recently released R3.

As for the next RX-series from Mazda, the automaker is hard at work on the all-new 16X rotary engine, and in that case, a revised Wankel rotary is expected to power the updated model, which is not expected until around 2011 or 2012.

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