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Base model shown as 2011 4dr Cpe Man Sport
2011 Mazda RX-8 4dr Cpe Man Sport

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Top Features of Base Model

  • Sleek, sporty design
  • Powerful Wankel rotary engine
  • Nimble handling and tight cornering
  • Available in manual and automatic transmission

About the Mazda RX-8

The Mazda RX-8 is a stylish sports car that offers a smooth drive. It went on sale in North America in 2004, as the successor to the RX-7 in Mazda's RX line of cars. It was discontinued in 2012.

Though there is much to love about this automobile, its biggest selling point is its Wankel rotary engine - which was also present on the RX-7. The innovative design of Mazda's engine allows the RX-8 to offer world-class performance while remaining lightweight.

The RX was widely available in both automatic and manual transmission. As such, drivers who are trying to search for one of these vehicles in their local area in 2019 can still choose their preferred drivetrain option.

What Does the Mazda RX-8 Compete With?

The Mazda RX-8 is a unique vehicle, but it still has some competition. A search for its competitors would bring the following results:

  • Honda S2000
  • Nissan 350Z
  • Saturn SC2
  • Toyota Altezza

Though these vehicles are Mazda's closest competitors, they can't quite match the drive speed and performance. For many drivers, the RX is quite simply the best in its class.

Exterior Design of the Mazda RX-8

The stylish coupe design of the vehicle is truly timeless. Its bold lines and sweeping curves make it stand out from the crowd.

When looking at this automobile from a front-end view, the first thing you will notice is its striking headlamps. These high intensity lights are paired with a sculpted hood and an imposing grille to create a memorable look. You won't have to search for long to find a design feature that you appreciate.

The RX also features 18-inch aluminum alloy wheels, polished muffler tips, and stunning LED tail lights. No matter what angle you view this automobile from, it looks amazing.

Interior Design of the Mazda RX-8

The timeless design of this automobile continues on the inside. The colors are vibrant, the displays are bright, and the entire cabin feels welcoming.

Top of the list of things that drivers will notice when they open the door is the accented seating and steering wheel. Design features such as these help to create an environment that just screams speed and performance.

The most important thing to note about the interior of this vehicle, however, is that its rear seats are fully functional. Many sports cars offer rear seats that can only be used to carry groceries. However, the Mazda offers ample seating for two people in the back.

The RX-8 also offers many of the top gadgets and technology that drivers expect. For example, it offers an audio system, air conditioning, and cruise control. The RX-8 proves that driving a lightweight sports car doesn't have to mean missing out on the best features.

Safety Features of the Mazda RX-8

This automobile was designed with the safety of its passengers in mind. As such, it includes the following safety features as standard:

  • Advanced front airbags
  • Side-impact airbags and air curtains
  • Anti-lock brakes
  • Electronic brakeforce distribution
  • Three-point seatbelts
  • Side-impact door support beams
  • Collapsible steering column

While many lightweight sports cars reduce their weight by limiting safety features such as these, this automobile doesn't have to. The Mazda RX-8 offers safety and performance.

Who Is it Meant For?

The Mazda RX-8 was intended for those who love a high-performing sports vehicle that is also functional. It offers plenty of space for passengers, and it has great handling. The Mazda RX-8 also has a number of safety features, meaning your family can tag along for the ride.

Pros and Cons of the 2011 Mazda RX-8


  • Sporty coupe design
  • The rotary engine provides high speed and top performance
  • Agile and mobile handling
  • Comfortable seating and smooth ride quality
  • Lightweight design
  • Plenty of technology and safety features
  • Plenty of space for four people


  • New versions are not available in 2019
  • Poor fuel efficiency for a vehicle of its size (16 city/23 highway MPG)
  • Lacks modern features such as mobile phone connectivity, screens for videos, and rear-view cameras
  • Reviews and online videos indicate that reliability is not the best
  • Requires a little more maintenance than most cars
  • It can be tough to find local parts for any necessary repairs
Model History

The history of the RX-8 in North America starts in 2001 at the North American International Car Show. Having been introduced to the public at that event, the automobile then entered the North American market in 2004 at a starting price of around $25,000. Like its predecessor, the RX-7, the RX-8 features a Wankel rotary engine.

The 2004 model was powered by a 1.3-liter non-turbo Wankel engine and was available in a 5-speed manual or a 4-speed automatic transmission. For 2005 and 2006, however, a new 6-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifting was introduced. Initial reactions and reviews were all quite positive.

The year 2005 also saw the introduction of a new special edition version of the RX-8, known as the "Shinka." It was marketed as a more upmarket, grand touring version of the base car. The Shinka featured a black and white exterior, leather and suede interior, and a revised suspension system.

However, the Shinka of 2005 was not the only special edition vehicle released into the North American market. In 2007, Mazda created the Kuro. Featuring sparkling black paint and 18-inch alloy wheels, only 500 of these cars were ever made.

Outside of North America, the company introduced a number of special edition versions of the automobile. In the U.K., the Nemesis, Evolve, and PZ made their debuts in 2006, while Australia was given the Revelation.

Indeed, 2007 proved to be a busy year in the history of the company. That year also saw the release of a special edition RX-8 to mark 40 years since the introduction of the rotary engine (1967 - 2007). These vehicles featured a grey exterior, a red leather interior, and redesigned wheels.

By the year 2008, Mazda started to feel that the RX-8 needed a refresh. As such, its team of engineers set about making improvements and developments to be launched with the 2009 model of the vehicle.

In November of 2008, Mazda announced the first of these improvements. The 2009 model would feature an improved suspension and shock supports, better handling, improved fuel efficiency, and a shorter gear ratio. These changes combined to make the 2009 model faster than the 2008 model.

However, 2008 also brought about the great recession. As a result, the Ford Motor Company began selling off its shares in Mazda. The partnership between the two carmakers had been in place since 1975.

Despite Ford's pull-out, Mazda moved forward with the production of the second generation of RX-8s. In 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012, North American drivers had three different trim models to choose from — the Sport, the Grand Touring, and the R3.

Design changes to the Sport, Grand Touring, and R3 included revamped lighting, a new front-end, and larger exhaust tips. Reviews and online videos about the new designs were generally positive. Enthusiasts were particularly fond of the Sport trim level.

In 2010, Mazda ended sales of the RX-8 in Europe after it failed to meet the local emissions levels. The automobile remained available in North America in 2010, 2011 and 2012. In late 2011, the manufacturer announced that they would stop production of the car.

It is still possible to find one of these automobiles in 2019, but it will come pre-owned. Recent models (2011 - 2012) can be found at a price of $9,000, while older models (2004 - 2006) can be found at a price in the $3,000 to $4,000 range. The Mazda RX-8 remains one of the best, most fun to drive sports cars ever made.

Specs & Key Features of the 2011 Mazda RX-8


Body Style
4 Door Coupe
232 hp
Passenger Doors
Passenger Seating
Rear Wheel Drive
City MPG

Key Features

  • Air Conditioning
  • Audio
  • CD Player
  • Cruise Control
  • LED Lights
  • Leather Steering Wheel
  • Remote Keyless Entry

More Features

  • 1.3L RENESIS MPFI 2-rotor rotary engine
  • 6-speed manual transmission w/OD & short-throw shifter
  • Lightweight carbon fiber driveshaft
  • Variable dynamic effect intake system
  • Torque sensing limited slip differential
  • Rear wheel drive
  • Sport-tuned suspension
  • Independent double-wishbone front suspension -inc: gas shocks
  • Independent multi-link rear suspension -inc: gas shocks
  • Front/rear stabilizer bars
  • Shock tower brace
  • Direct drive electric pwr rack & pinion steering
  • 4-wheel pwr ventilated disc brakes
  • Low pressure main muffler exhaust
  • Single exhaust system w/dual chrome tailpipes
  • 18" x 8" aluminum alloy wheels w/locks
  • P225/45R18 high-performance summer tires
  • Rear lip spoiler
  • Halogen headlights
  • LED tail lights
  • Heat absorbent tinted windshield w/sunshade
  • Body-color pwr mirrors
  • Free style doors
  • Variable-intermittent windshield wipers
  • AM/FM stereo w/CD/MP3 player -inc: digital clock, (6) speakers, aux input jack
  • In-glass rear antenna
  • Cloth front bucket seats -inc: integrated head restraints, passenger one touch walk-in function
  • Rear bucket seats w/pass-through
  • Center console w/pwr outlet
  • Front/rear carpeted floor mats
  • Black scuff plates w/aluminum accents
  • Aluminum foot pedals & footrest
  • Leather-wrapped tilt steering wheel w/cruise & audio controls
  • Black gauges -inc: chrome bezels, white lettering, blue LED illumination w/red nighttime illumination
  • (2) resettable trip odometers
  • Outside temp display
  • Warning lamps -inc: airbags, battery, brake, engine, fuel, high-beam, oil, seat belt, tire pressure
  • Pwr windows -inc: one-touch open/close, remote down, illuminated switches
  • Pwr door locks w/illuminated switches
  • Remote keyless entry w/illuminated entry
  • Cruise control
  • Remote fuel door/hood/trunk lid release
  • Alarm system w/engine immobilizer
  • Air conditioning
  • Rear window defogger w/auto-off feature
  • Side window demisters
  • Rear heat ducts
  • Illuminated locking glove compartment
  • Cigarette lighter w/ash tray
  • Overhead console w/sunglass holder
  • Cloth-trimmed door panels
  • Illuminated visor vanity mirrors
  • Lighting -inc: ignition key, door/overhead dimming, dual maplights
  • Aluminum & leather-wrapped shift knob
  • Cup holders -inc: (2) front, (2) rear
  • Rear console w/covered storage
  • Anti-lock brake system (ABS) w/electronic brakeforce distribution (EBD)
  • Driver & front passenger airbags w/occupant detection system
  • Driver & front passenger side airbags
  • Driver & front passenger curtain airbags
  • Front 3-point seat belts -inc: pretensioners, force limiters
  • Tire pressure monitoring system

Warranty Options for the 2011 Mazda RX-8 (3)







Roadside Assistance



Available Trims for the 2011 Mazda RX-8 (5)

4dr Cpe Man Sport
MSRP Starting at
4dr Cpe Auto Sport
MSRP Starting at
4dr Cpe Man Grand Touring
MSRP Starting at
4dr Cpe Man R3
MSRP Starting at
4dr Cpe Auto Grand Touring
MSRP Starting at

Safety Ratings for the 2011 Mazda RX-8

2011 Mazda RX-8 4dr Cpe Man Sport

US NHTSA Crash Test Results

Results shown are for the 2011 Mazda RX-8 4dr Cpe Man Sport:

Overall Rating
Overall Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
Overall Side Crash Rating
Side Barrier Rating
Side Barrier Rating Driver
Side Barrier Rating Passenger Rear Seat
Side Pole Rating Driver Front Seat
Combined Side Rating Front Seat
Combined Side Rating Rear Seat
Rollover Rating

Dynamic Test Result

No Tip

Risk of Rollover


Rollover Note

Dynamic (moving) test results (Tip or No Tip) and measured rollover-related properties determine vehicle's risk of rollover in single vehicle crash and its rollover rating. The Rollover Resistance Rating utilizes a "fishhook" maneuver which is a series of abrupt turns at varying speeds to see how "top-heavy" a vehicle is.


Male: Average sized adult male dummy in 35-MPH crash into fixed barrier. Rating is evaluation of injury to head, neck, chest, legs. Female: Small-sized adult female dummy in 35-mph crash into fixed barrier. Rating is evaluation of injury to head, neck, chest, legs.