In this article, I’ll go over the most popular RX8 body kits and list their pros and cons. I’ll also link where you can buy each body kit, provided the company still sells it. Before that though, a short history of the RX-8 first.
The Mazda RX8 is one of the most affordable sports cars of our generation. Succeeding the iconic RX7, the Mazda RX8 carries on the tradition of using an unconventional engine in the form of a ‘Wankel’ rotary motor. In addition to its engine, one of the RX8’s main advantages is the way it looks.
It’s a great-looking car and one which lends itself extremely well to the world of aftermarket tuning. Throughout the years, dozens of different AEM manufacturers have designed and developed body kits for the RX8, some gaining more popularity than others.
Pandem – Rocket Bunny RX8 Body Kit – $3,450 estimate
Pandem’s Rocket Bunny kit for the RX8 is arguably the most popular and aggressive body kit available for the platform at the moment. The term ‘Rocket Buddy’ has become synonymous with body kits over the last couple of years, mostly because of how many platforms it’s available for.
When developing it, Pandem wanted to make their body kit as aggressive and insane as possible, and the end result speaks for itself. Pandem’s product is perfect for people who want the most extreme version of the RX8, with an aggressive stance and race-inspired styling.
Pandem’s kit is all-encompassing, meaning you need to modify or replace most exterior panels. It ships with side skirts, front bumper additions, a rear diffusor, massive wheel arch extensions, side skirts, a duck spoiler, and a massive rear wing.
Since the Rocket Bunny kit widens the car’s overall track width by several inches, you’ll either need wheel spacers or wider wheels/tires to fill out the wheel arches. Because of how extreme the kit is, you’ll need to have some DIY knowledge to fit it yourself, but more importantly, you can’t be afraid of drilling holes in the car’s body panels or cutting metal where necessary.
If you want to stand out and turn heads wherever you go in your RX8, then Pandem’s solution is definitely ideal. Plus, how many people can say they’ve got a ‘Rocket Bunny’ body kit on their car? You can find the kit through Pandem’s own website in the US or through Greddy’s shop.
Veilside Body RX8 Body Kit – $890 estimate
Veilside is a name that’s almost synonymous with a certain orange RX-7 which starred in a now-iconic movie called ‘Fast and Furious’. Most people know Veilside exactly because of Han’s orange and black RX-7 in the third instalment of the ‘Fast and Furious’ franchise, ‘Tokyo Drift’.
Veilside is more than an RX7 body kit manufacturer though. They also build and sell kits for Nissans (370Z, GT-R), Chryslers (300), and even Toyota’s tiny iQ. Since this is an article about the Mazda RX-8, you probably already guessed that they’ve also got a body kit for Mazda’s ‘Wankel’-powered sports car.
Compared to Pandem’s body kit, the Veilside kit is a lot less aggressive and crazy, but it’s still relatively flashy. Unlike the Rocket Bunny, the Veilside doesn’t ship with massively flared arches, keeping the car the same width as the original.
That being said, it does come with a rather unique-looking front bumper, side skirts, a rear bumper, and a hefty rear spoiler. You can also option the kit with either an FRP bonnet or a carbon-fibre one if you don’t mind spending a bit more money.
The best way of buying Veilside’s kit is through their own website or through Vivid Racing. If you’re a fan of mean-looking body kits but don’t fancy cutting into your fenders or drilling holes to attach wheel arches, Veilside’s solution definitely seems to fit the bill.
RE-Amemiya RX8 Body Kit – $8,238 estimate
I’m not a massive fan of RE-Amemiya’s body kit for the RX8, but I can definitely appreciate and see why people might like it. RE-Amemiya is an iconic name in the JDM world, and their RX-8 body kit definitely makes a bold statement.
In my opinion, RE-Amemiya’s kit is slightly too old-school, but perhaps that’s why people seem to like it so much. It embodies the late 90s and early 2000s car scene, when the world of aftermarket tuning was in full swing and still in an upward trend.
Like the Veilside, RE-Amemiya’s product leaves the car’s wheel arches intact, so you won’t need any wheel spacers or new wheels to fit this kit to your car. I have a feeling that the front bumper is not to everyone’s liking, but people who appreciate the tuning scene in the 1990s will unquestionably find it good-looking.
What I really love about the RE-Amemiya kit though, if I had to single out one thing, is the bonnet. I love how aggressive the slats are, especially if the panel itself isn’t painted and is left in bare carbon-fibre weave. Not only does it look amazing, but it’s functional too. It helps keep the rotary engine residing in the engine bay cool by giving the hot air a place to escape from.
Mazdaspeed RX8 Body Kit – $400 – eBay estimate
Mazda offered a special bumper for the RX8 called the Mazdaspeed. For many people, including myself, it’s the single best visual upgrade you can do to your RX8. Not only does it look stock, but it’ll fit perfectly since it was built by Mazda itself.
I especially love that it doesn’t look too crazy or aggressive, but is more subtle and refined. It makes the RX8 appear sportier without ruining its lines or proportions. If Mazda ever built a special edition of the RX-8, a-la Mercedes’ Black Series edition, I like to think this is what they would’ve made it look like.
Unfortunately, you can’t find the Mazdaspeed bumper new since Mazda stopped producing it a long time ago, but if you shop around you can probably find a used one in good condition on sites like eBay or craigslist (similar marketplaces will also do).
If you don’t want to go overboard with modifying your RX8 or just want an upgrade that doesn’t require too much hassle, just find a used Mazdaspeed bumper and see your car’s exterior transform dramatically. One thing to note: you can find the Mazdaspeed bumper for first-gen Mazda RX8s, but not for second-gen cars. Reason being that Mazda stopped producing it with the introduction of the second-gen and the R3 variants.
Buddy Club RX8 Body Kit – $1,050 estimate
People who want an ultra-aggressive, race-inspired boy kit without going to Pandem and Rocket Bunny, will usually end up going down the Buddy Club route. Buddy Club was extremely popular back in the mid-to-late 2000s, especially in Japan. Weirdly enough, even though it was formed in Japan, Buddy Club’s most production and design facilities are based in the US.
Buddy Club started operating in the US back in 2003. From there, they started exporting most of their products to the rest of the world, especially Hong Kong and the UK, in 2005.
With the rise of automotive content, especially in YouTube video form, through channels like ‘Hot Version International’ and the drift king himself, Keiichi Tsuchiya, body kits like the one from Buddy Club became extremely popular.
Out of all the bumpers we’ll cover in this article, I think I like Buddy Club’s solution the most. I love that they placed the biggest amount of emphasis on making the front bumper as functional as possible, by giving it a large central opening, showcasing the radiator (or intercooler if someone decides to turbocharge their RX8).
I’m not as keen on the rear bumper, but I don’t mind it. If instead of giving it three separate mesh sections, Buddy Club decided to incorporate some kind of a rear diffuser, I think it would have looked much better.
Ings-Net RX8 Body Kit – $1,600 estimate
Ings’ body kit for the RX-8 is a weird mix between the Veilside body kit and the RE-Amemiya. The front bumper is extremely similar to the one found on the Veilside, with several noticeable differences though. For starters, the side air dams are much smaller, making the front end look less bulbous and bulky. The central opening is also a little bigger, which I like, but some people might not.
The rear end is similar to the RE-Amemiya kit, but once again, there are several differences. The exhaust openings are in the same place and have the same shape, but the Ings-Net kit has larger shrouds with sharper angles.
There isn’t a rear diffuser per-say, but there is a central section with fake mesh and even a little triangle ‘Wankel’ logo slap bang in the middle. Out of all the side skirts we’ve covered so far, I think Ings makes the nicest-looking ones. They’re fairly flat with fin-style cutouts at the ends.
AutoExe RX8 Body Kit – $1599 estimate
Scroll through the RX-8 forums, and one name that constantly keeps popping up is AutoExe. AutoExe became popular as soon as the RX-8 made its debut because they were one of the first aftermarket manufacturers to design and offer a body kit for Mazda’s latest sports car at the time.
People thought the AutoExe looked radical at the time, but in today’s world of Veilside and Rocket Bunny body kits, the AutoExe looks almost understated in comparison. After their initial product, AutoExe started building several different variants of their body kit, depending on which generation RX-8 you have and whether you prefer more aggressive or understated styling.
For first-gen RX-8s, the SE-02 body kit is probably my favourite since it just seems to fit the RX-8’s sports car shape so well. I wouldn’t say it’s the best-looking body kit, nor the most aggressive, but it’s a great middle-ground solution. You can even buy an original AutoExe carbon-fibre bonnet if you don’t mind dropping $2,400 on one.
For people who prefer something a bit more flamboyant, there’s always AutoExe’s SE-03C body kit. The front bumper isn’t particularly interesting or unique, but things quickly escalate as soon as you get to the rear. What makes this body kit so special is how it handles the exhaust outlets shroud. Designed for quad exhausts or large twin-exhaust shrouds, this kit is ideal for people who don’t mind making a bit of noise, both literally and as a statement.
NRF RX8 Body Kit – $1,000 estimate
This is a weird one, so it’s no wonder it isn’t as popular as the other kits we’ve covered so far. I’ve mostly seen it on competition cars and show cars, but I think there are a few street cars driving around. NRF’s body kit isn’t my particular cup of tea, but I’ll admit it’s striking and shouty, for good or bad.
NRF builds and sells two different versions of the RX-8 body kit, called ‘Version 1’ and the ‘FinalSpec’ respectively. They’re similar in terms of design and concept, but the execution is completely different.
The Version 1 front bumper is as basic as bumpers get. It has a single large opening in the middle, with two massive air dams with mesh on either side, both as tall as the central opening. You can even specify it with stabilizing fins (winglets) if you really want to go down the full race route.
The FinalSpec is the ‘grown-up’ version of the Version 1, if you can even call it that. It has the same central opening with smaller side air dams to incorporate fog lights just above them. It doesn’t look as aggressive, but it’s the much better solution if you need to retain your foglights or want something a little bit more conservative and restrained.
Knight Sports RX8 Body Kit – $900 estimate
If you want your RX-8 looking more like an RX-7, then go for the Knight Sports body kit and I promise you won’t be disappointed. The front bumper is definitely inspired by the RX-7’s front bumper, and for some reason, it works weirdly well on the RX-8.
I always thought the RX-8 has a happy face and this bumper certainly emphasizes that. This body kit is also dignified and understated, something I definitely appreciate. This particular bumper is the ‘Type 2’, which Knight Sports likes to pair with a medium-sized rear spoiler.
If you’re a fan of massive wings, you can always buy Knight Sports’ GT wing. Since words can’t do it justice, I urge you all to visit the link and take a look at it for yourself. The thing is absolutely massive, there’s no other way to describe it. I doubt it’s effective at generating any meaningful downforce on a road car at regular speeds, but perhaps if you’re building a time attack car or just think it looks cool, you can maybe opt for it.
Knight Sports’ second body kit is the ‘Type 3’, specifically designed for second-gen RX-8s. Again, it uses the same rear spoiler as the Type 2, but the front end is much more aggressive this time around. The second-gen RX8’s front fascia lends itself well to large air openings, so that’s exactly what Knight Sports have done. You can also buy Knight Sports’ front bumper through RHDJapan.
LEG Motorsports Body Kit – $1,700 estimate
Out of all the kits we’ve covered so far, this is honestly my least favourite one, but since there’s a demand for it, some people obviously like it, so I have to show it to you. Designed and built by LEG Motorsports, it looks like a quality item, but I still can’t get over that front bumper.
They’ve obviously tried to mimic Mazda’s newer design language, by copying the lines of the later Mazda 6 and the newest Mazda 3s, but all they’ve done is made the RX8 look like some sort of water creature. It looks like a big fish that’s beached ashore.
I don’t like to be unnecessarily harsh to any particular brand, but I’m not a fan of this body kit, and it’s all down to that front bumper. I love the rear spoiler, and I even kind of like the way the rear wheel arch extension integrates into the side skirt, but that front end is too much for me.
If you still want it you can find it through Nengun. LEG also built a similar bumper for the second-gen Mazda RX8, which you can also find through Nengun’s website. Again, I’m not a fan of the fish-like opening at the front, but at least this design suits second-gen RX8s a lot better.
I read through some forums that the build quality is good and fitment seems to be a non-issue, so it has that going for it. If you do decide to opt for it, do note that the tow hook and the daylights pictured in the images aren’t included with the sale. You can add them on as additional extras.
You can find all these parts and much more accessories for the RX-8 on LEG Motorsports’ website.
Fujita Engineering Body Kit – $7,000 estimate
Last but by no means least, we finally arrive at Fujita Engineering and their well-thought-out, well-developed body kit. I’m a really big fan of this kit because it’s a no-frills, straight-to-the-point product. The front bumper isn’t particularly interesting for instance, but it’s been designed with function in mind. It directs air towards the underside, producing more stability and feeding air inside the engine bay.
The large GT Wing is almost ridiculous as the one Knight Sports offer, but this one seems more functional somehow, especially coupled with the rest of the body kit’s intended functions. Fujita even offers a carbon aero hood with two massive slots serving as hot air outlets. You can get it painted or in a dry-carbon finish.
They’ve also got old-school-shaped aero mirror covers, similar to those on the second-gen RX-7. The only downside to this kit? It’s a bit on the costly side, as it will easily run you $2,500 for the carbon-fibre bonnet alone. You can find all of Fujita Engineering’s listed parts for the RX-8 on their website.
Obviously, this list isn’t final as there are dozens of other body kits for the RX-8 available out there, but these are the most popular as well as some of the best built. My personal favourite is undoubtedly the Buddy Club because it perfectly combines function and form all into one.
The Fujita Engineering kit looks sweet too, but it’s a bit pricey and it still isn’t as good as the Buddy Club in my opinion. In terms of standalone parts, I’d definitely single out the Mazdaspeed bumper as being the best out of everything listed in this article.
It’s built by the company which made the car, so you know it’ll fit perfectly, and it completely changes the way it looks. As I mentioned before, the only downside is finding an example and buying it, since Mazda stopped making them a long time ago.
I was able to find a few on eBay, but most of them were Duraflex copies of the Mazdaspeed. One important note: whenever you see Duraflex, just know that it’s not an original and it may require some modification to make it fit perfectly. Duraflex produces affordable alternatives to some of the popular brands we highlighted in this article, but you know the old saying: “You get what you pay for”. Once you have made your RX8 look a lot cooler with a bodykit also consider an LS engine swap to make it go faster.