Japan gets RX-8 Type RS, U.S. gets RX-8 R3

Mazda announces 2009 RX-8 sport packages for Japan and the U.S.

2009 Mazda RX-8
For 2009, the RX-8 gets a redesigned front fascia. Mazda

In news releases for Japan and the U.S., Mazda announced that the 2009 RX-8 is currently being shipped to dealers. The Japanese version can be had as a Type RS, with a better sport suspension, while the U.S. equivalent is the R3 sport package. In each case, the RX-8 gets fitted with Bilstein shocks, while Mazda fills the front crossmembers with urethane foam, which should give the RX-8 a smoother ride and better handling. The Type RS and R3 cars also get Recaro seats and 19-inch wheels. Mazda also redesigned the gear ratios on the RX-8's six-speed transmission for some much-needed low-speed power.

2009 Mazda RX-8 interior
The Japan-bound RX-8 gets hard drive-based navigation. Mazda

For the U.S., the R3 package adds a 300-watt Bose audio system with surround sound and Bluetooth hands-free cell phone integration. For the Japan-bound RX-8, Mazda specifies an available hard drive-based navigation system with voice command. We don't have details on the navigation system available in the U.S., but we would like to see a similar system as that offered in Japan.

We've previously reviewed the 2008 Mazda RX-8.

About the author

Wayne Cunningham reviews cars and writes about automotive technology for CNET. Prior to the Car Tech beat, he covered spyware, Web building technologies, and computer hardware. He began covering technology and the Web in 1994 as an editor of The Net magazine. He's also the author of "Vaporware," a novel that's available as a Nook e-book.


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