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Anniversary Mazda RX-8

Mazda is celebrating its history of involvement with rotary engines by producing the RX-8 40th Anniversary Limited Edition.

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Mazda is celebrating its history of involvement with rotary engines by producing the RX-8 40th Anniversary Limited Edition.

As explained in a previous news story, Mazda launched its first twin-rotor car - the Cosmo Sport - back in 1967. Several other manufacturers were showing an interest in rotaries at the time, but only Mazda has persevered with the concept into the 21st century. The RX-8, introduced in 2003, is currently the only rotary-engined car you can buy.

The 40th Anniversary version, of which just 400 examples will be sold in the UK, is mechanically almost identical to the 231PS version of the standard RX-8. There are just a couple of exceptions: uprated Bilstein shock absorbers have been fitted all round, and the front crossmembers have been filled with polyurethane foam to absorb road noise.

Apart from that, the differences are mostly visual. The Anniversary edition has 18" ten-spoke alloy wheels, a rear wing, blue-light front fog lamps and 40th Anniversary badges on the front wings, and comes with either Crystal White Pearlescent or Metropolitan Grey Mica paintwork. The interior is trimmed in black leather, and the carpet mats and sill plates have special logos (and, in the case of the sill plates, each car's unique edition number).

The RX-8 40th Anniversary Limited Edition costs £24,595 (or just under £1600 more than the standard 231PS car) and is rated in Group 17 for insurance purposes.