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Tuesday of this week, around lunchtime, I picked up my BRAND NEW 2009 RX-8 Grand Touring with Nav and Premium package (Sirius and moon roof). It's Diamond Gray Metallic and BEAUTIFUL. I bought the car, color sight unseen. The pictures don't do it justice - it's beautiful. EVERYONE comments on the color. The color seems to change a bit - darker, almost greyish in the garage, more champagne in the sunlight.
I plan on taking pics of the Nav and audio system screen shots. The Mazda USA page does a good job on the rest of the car.
In a word: It's TIGHT.
I traded in my Titanium 2004 RX-8 GT (my 4th RX) which didn't really give me any problems that weren't handled via a recall or tech bulletin. But, it had nearly 50k miles on it and was approaching 5 years old.
On to the 2009 - did I say it is TIGHT?!!! The suspension feels tighter than my '04. I love the progressive nature of it. It rides over the bumps wonderfully, but really sucks up the turns (and on ramps ) It is a true "Grand Touring"
The tires are lousy (check out Tirerack.com) - but they work and I don't expect them to last much over 12k miles. They are Ultra High Performance All-Season Dunlop SP 2050's.
The engine feels AMAZING. My friend is the Fleet Manager at my company - he rebuilt his first engine at 7 years old (only kidding), but he's an amazing guy. His first comments on driving it was, they tweaked the engine - there's more low end torque. It may be the gearing, it may be the oil injection - we'll find out more later. But it PULLS - smoothly and consistently. As with our beloved rotary, it LOVES the high RPM's.
The exhaust note is improved - nice, with a small touch of throaty but not at all intrusive.
Bluetooth phone integration - AWESOME!
Nav audio voice commands - amazing.
Fit and finish - more polished, "high end" looking with the additional leather.
Steering wheel - Got used to it quick - it's OK. The leather used to wrap it has a wonderful feel to it.
My first tank I got 16 mpg (actually the same I got with my '04 driving the same route), but it was all city driving. I've only been near red line once as it only has 100 miles on it. The break-in chapter of the manual is one paragraph - basically it says don't abuse it. When I registered the car on MazdaUSA, it I could download the owners manual - a 10 meg pdf. When I get the OK, I'll upload it.
Bought it at University Mazda, Seattle, Wa. Incredible dealer - I HIGHLY recommend them over Lee Johnson or Doug's Lynnwood. PM me and I'll tell you what the sale guys said to my comments on each dealer. The UMazda GM is the previous sales manager - Chris Reeves - been there for years. Some of you may know him from his previous involvement in the RX8 club around Seattle. http://www.umazda.com/
I hope this helps some of you looking for some current information on the '09.
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Aznxkaiser - I do notice a few mph lower difference on the shift from 1-2 on the '09 as compared to my '04, but that's about it. I'd GLADLY trade the lower shift point for the "seat of the pants" better acceleration feel. Mazda did good on this one.
erx8s - I'll try and get shots of her "rear" and some more all round shots.
REsuperD - yes, the gauges are still "3 color". Blueish with key off, bright and dimmer white depending on status of headlights. I'll brace the cam and try to get a pic of the gauges in those 3 states.
Myriad - Yes, I'm amazed the diff 4.77 does to the butt dyno.
Renesis07 - No recaro seats - limited to the R3 AFAIK