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The Mazda RX-8 is a sports car manufactured by the Japanese marque Mazda. It was introduced in 2001 at the North American International Auto Show. The RX-8 is the natural successor to the Mazda RX-7 and, like its predecessors in this model series, is powered by a rotary or Wankel engine. To date, it can be considered the last commercial vehicle with a rotary engine. It ceased production in 2012; Mazda felt that the investment required for its engine to meet emissions standards did not compensate for its low sales.

The RX-8 was sold for only one generation, although there were distinctions during its 10-year life on the market. The oldest models of the RX-8, with chassis codes SE3P and JM1FE, were produced from 2003 onwards. It featured a Renesis 13B-MSP 2-rotor Wankel Renesis 13B-MSP engine with side intake. This, as well as the others, had 1,300 cubic centimeters of displacement. The standard 4-valve version developed 191 hp and was mated to a 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmission. The high-horsepower 6-valve Renesis version was only available with a 6-speed manual transmission and was rated at 238 hp.

At the end of 2008, Mazda updated this model. It did so by improving the structural rigidity of the vehicle and changing the suspension. In 2009, the engine was upgraded by adding a third oil injection port. This was done to address the major reliability issues identified in the first stage. A new catalytic converter was also added.

Although this model is an absolute gem for its design and engine, it was quite criticized at the time for its reliability and fuel consumption. However, it must be recognized that this type of vehicle requires a very thorough maintenance to be durable. The RX-8 lacked a direct competitor, but it did rival a multitude of sports cars of its time, such as the Alfa Romeo Brera, the Mitsubishi Eclipse, the Honda S2000 and the Toyota Supra. The Mazda RX-8 will surely follow in the footsteps of its predecessor and become a classic vehicle.

mazda rx-8 2008 back.jpg

Mazda RX-8. Timing Belt or Timing Chain?

Down below you will see a list with all Mazda RX-8 models that have been produced. They are classified by model identifier, year and type of bodywork. Above each list, we show you a series of pictures so that you can have a visual reference for each model. In some cases, both the original and its updated design are displayed to help you identify them with ease.

In this guide you will find all Mazda RX-8.

■ Timing Belt / Cam Belt (Correa / Faja de Distribución)
■ Timing Chain (Cadena de Distribución / Cadena de Tiempo)
■ Gear Driven (Distribución por Engranajes)
100% Electric, No Timing (Sin Distribución)
Unknown / Not Updated (Información desconocida)

If a car model is specified in blue, it means its motor engine has a timing chain; that is, it has no timing belt. The rest of the vehicles marked in grey have a timing belt/cam belt.

Mazda RX-8 I – First Generation (SE3P / FE3S) (2003)

Coupé (SE, FE)

Diesel Engines

There are no diesel-engined versions of the Mazda RX-8 Gen 1.

Petrol / Gasolines Engines

  • 13B-MSP 1.3 192 CV (2003 – 2012)
  • 13B-MSP 1.3 200 CV (2003 – 2005)
  • 13B-MSP 1.3 205 CV (2003 – 2012)
  • 13B-MSP 1.3 215 CV (2003 – 2012)
  • 13B-MSP 1.3 231 CV (2003 – 2012)
  • 13B 1.3 235 CV (2007 – 2011)
  • 13B-MSP 1.3 241 CV (2013 – 2012)

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