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Mazda marks end of RX-8 production with Spirit R edition in Japan

Fri, 07 Oct 2011

Mazda will close out the RX-8 sports car's run in Japan with a Spirit R edition, the same way it brought the curtain down on the RX-7 in 2002.

But the RX-8 Spirit R won't make it to U.S. showrooms. That's OK. The changes are mostly cosmetic.

The package includes curtain and front side-impact airbags, red-painted brake calipers and black trim on the transmission tunnel. Buyers who take the manual transmission get Recaro bucket seats and bronze-colored 19-inch wheels. Go with the automatic, and you get an interior adorned with red stitching, a sports suspension and 18-inch alloy wheels.

The Spirit R comes in three colors--silver, black and white. The base price is the equivalent of $40,800 for the automatic and $42,500 for the manual transmission.

Mazda plans to build 1,000 copies of the Spirit R and then shut down RX-8 production next June.

By Dale Jewett