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I believe they said the automatic would likely be slightly depowered, something around 215 hp, no?
I think the Acura RSX might be a good comparison. Base engine (215hp) with perhaps a 5 speed or a manumatic or the full out (250hp) 6 speed with 17" rims I'd guess with 18"'s as an option I would think.
Be nice if all versions had the 250hp with manumatic or 6 speed only. However, I believe there is some difficulty in doing an automatic with super high revs. If you think about all high revving cars, all the automatic versions have a reduced redline.
RSX Base - about 6700 RPM I believe manual or auto.
RSX Type S - 7900 RPM manual only
NSX- auto has a less powerful engine with reduced redline.
NSX- manual I believe is either 8K or 8400 rpm redline.
S2000 - 9000 RPM, manual only.
I would guess this will apply to the RX-8 since redline is likely to be 9K+ RPM. I would think the auto will HAVE to be a detuned version because the redline will have to be lower.
Simple solution? If they got it ready, put in a CVT or paddle shifting automatic manual transmission for those who foolishly want an automatic