Introduced in 2004, the RX-8 reignited the popular rotary engine in the US. It offered a zippy roadster that was well equipped, stylish and sporty, powered by a 1.3-liter rotary-cylinder that was rated at 238 horsepower. No changes were in store for 2005, and 2006 only saw the addition of paddle shifters with a slight horsepower boost for automatic transmission models. Nominal changes took place for the 2007 model year, but 2008 marked the 40th anniversary for the rotary engine. A limited special-edition model was released for this year, with signature features and sports-tuned suspension and braking. 2009 saw a new front end, a larger grille and the integration of popular technology features like Bluetooth, with minor changes to trim levels and options. The RX-8 would zoom through 2010 and 2011 with minor changes and updates.
The 2006 Mazda RX-8 is a sports coupe with a unique four-door system that allows for easier access to the rear seats, and a new six-speed automatic is available this year in place of the old four-speed.