Mazda has updated the versions of its four-door, four-seat, rotary engine- RX-8 sports car sold by Mazda and Mazda Anfini dealers in Japan.

Mazda commenced sales of the five-speed and six-speed manual transmission models on Tuesday and began accepting orders for the new six-speed automatic transmission version on sale in mid-October 2006.

Sales of then all-new RX-8 began in April 2003.

The new six-speed automatic model has improved noise reduction at high speeds while its new six-port rotary engine - two ports more than the prior model and previously only available with six-speed manual - improves intake efficiency. The newly-added active adaptive shift (AAS) control improves ride quality.

Mazda has introduced the sand beige leather package for the Type S and Type E models and two new body colours, a blue mica and pearl white mica.

The monthly sales target for the upgraded RX-8 is 600 units a month.