Mazda's RX-8, the four-door "coupe" with a rotary engine, has been fed some angry pills during its recent facelift.
Did you pack your angry eyes?
Visually the biggest changes are up front with more rectangular headlights and a more aggressive "face". The vent behind the front wheel arches has also been changed from a vertical column to a triangular shape.
The car's rear-hinged or "freestyle" miniature back doors remain. These are commonly referred to as suicide doors because, in the early years of motorised transport, rear-hinged doors would occasionally fly open at high-speed or during enthusiastic cornering, potentially, propelling the non-seat-belted occupants out onto the rushing tarmac below.
The pillar that normally connects the floor to the ceiling at the rear edge of the front doors is not present on the RX-8. This means that the front doors are latched onto the rear doors when closed, thereby preventing the suicide element. It also allows for easier ingress and egress for rear passengers as the front doors have to be opened first and there is no metal obstruction.
Hidden under an anonymous black plastic shroud is another unique RX-8 element, its rotary engine. Compared to a traditional piston car engine, it is more compact and, arguably, smoother. From its rather meagre 1.3 litres it punches out 170kW when paired with a six-speed manual or 158kW when connected to a six-speed automatic. However, it is torque or pulling power poor, delivering just 211 Newton-metres, requiring drivers to rev the engine hard for swift progress.
Mmm piano black
There are three trim levels: a base model for AU$49,720, the AU$55,520 Luxury, and AU$57,625 GT. The Luxury (pictured here) gains a sunroof, Bose sound system and leather trim over the entry-level model.