Mazda has long been known for making cars with rotary engines, the latest being the RX-8 sports car. Mazda is discontinuing the RX-8, but a special edition trim, called the Sprint R, is getting an expanded run, giving the car a brief stay of execution.
The spin zone
For many years, Mazda has been putting Wankel rotary engines in its cars. Rotary engines have just a single odd-shaped cylinder, which rotates around the center of the engine, producing all four strokes of the engine cycle.
The only car in Mazda’s lineup that currently employs the rotary engine is the RX-8 sports car. Unfortunately, the car is going out of production this year, along with the Renesis rotary engine that powers it. All production of the RX-8 will cease as of June, according to Automobile magazine, but Mazda has decided to give the car a proper send-off with a special edition, called the Sprint R.
Initially, 1,000 RX-8 Sprint R units were going to be made, but strong demand for the special trim has been observed in the number of pre-orders, so Mazda has decided to extend the production run of the RX-8 Sprint R by another 1,000 units.
According to AutoBlog, the Sprint R doesn’t come with a more powerful motor, but comes with lots of ancillary goodies. Some equipment changes with the selected transmission. The Sprint R comes with a six-speed manual or automatic transmission, though 66 percent of pre-orders are selecting the manual.
Both manual and automatic versions have larger rotors, as well as red paint for all four brake rotors. Stability and traction control is also standard, as are a bespoke hood ornament and other appearance enhancements.
Manual transmission customers get black leather bucket seats by Recaro, as well as a hardened suspension with Bilstein dampers. The manual edition also has larger wheels than the automatic-equipped car. The automatic transmission model still gets leather buckets, but not by Recaro, and drops the suspension from the manual version of the car.
Then again, Mazda has seemingly always wanted people to buy an RX-8 with a manual transmission. The manual version of the car, according to Edmunds, has 20 more horsepower than the automatic.
The bad news
The car is, unfortunately, only available in Japan. Mazda, according to MotorAuthority, only intended to sell the final edition in its home country. Given the number of pre-orders, it has a devoted following who are willing to pay for it. The RX-8 Sprint R, according to Automobile, costs roughly $40,277 for models with the manual transmission. The automatic transmission version costs $38,666.