Within minute of leaving ours parking garage ns wished for a possibility to take this Mazda RX-8 to a roadway course. It"s rarely to experience a vehicle that likes to rev as much as this one and has such a great chassis. The rotary engine is much much better suited to track use than street driving because it drinks gas and also oil in ~ an outstanding rate and also doesn"t ever develop much in the method of torque. But keep the revs up and also this Wankel will provide power precisely where you want it because that a track day. There"s a many shifting compelled to daily drive an RX-8, however this details example seemed an ext powerful than others I"ve driven. Perhaps it"s since I"ve been driving so plenty of four-cylinder compact car lately the I"m offered to not having actually much torque.

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Mazda only managed to relocate 1134 RX-8s turn off dealer too many in 2010, for this reason it"s very possible this will be one of the last times I endure a brand-new RX-8. Return the rotary engine stops working to fulfill the fuel-economy, torque-delivery, and also oil-consumption expectations of modern-day car shoppers, there"s wealth of personality in this weird powerplant that you"ll never discover in a piston-driven engine. I would nearly like come buy an RX-8 to preserve this interesting specimen when it inevitably drops out the Mazda"s manufacturing portfolio, but I don"t really fit behind the wheel. When a sunroof is present, I discover my head brushing up versus the headliner, and there"s no telescoping wheel to allow me to slide the chair farther back. Because I"d really desire to take this auto to a track, that"s a bit of a problem. Ns can"t imagine do the efforts to journey an RX-8 through a helmet ~ above if I deserve to just right fit in the automobile without one. I mean drivers shorter than six feet won"t have a problem with this, though.


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The RX-8 embodies all that is an excellent about Mazda. It"s a rare vehicle that places much more priority on chassis balance, steering precision, and grip than on power. The an outcome is one engaging, light-footed sports automobile that"s the closest you"ll obtain to a bad man"s Lotus (along with the Miata). Due to the fact that the RX-8 is contempt underpowered, there"s an ext opportunity come spin the engine relentlessly and also zip about in that high-fun, low-speed zone. It"s a big reason why the RX-8 performs therefore impressively on public roads. It"s likewise a auto with no straight competitor. That"s fantastic, since it keeps Mazda honest. Quite than getting caught up in horsepower or fuel-economy one-upmanship, this fun-to-drive vehicle can simply hum follow me doing what it wants to do.


Unfortunately, the RX-8 additionally demonstrates all the is not good about Mazda. Namely, that the independent automaker doesn"t have actually the resources to save a full lineup fresh enough to continue to be competitive. Mazda"s halo vehicle is crawling toward its eighth year of visibility without a single significant update. Friend can"t reference the sector for failing to gain excited about a sports vehicle that is standing quiet while the rest of the market moves forward. If Mazda wants the rotating engine and the RX-8 come remain appropriate -- together it need to -- the company needs to sirloin to develop a next-generation version v all-new styling and also an engine update that reflects Mazda is still committed to the technology. However, the company has been silent about the 16X rotary engine due to the fact that showing the in 2007. That prototype promised enhanced fuel economy and torque thanks to larger displacement, straight injection, and a longer "stroke."


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The RX-8, come me, is what every tendency automaker"s halo design should be. Not only is the attainable at some $27,500 (for the base model), it additionally embodies the ideal qualities the the brand. Pilot one RX-8 down a twisting road, and you instantly understand and also appreciate why all Mazdas, from the 2 through the CX-9, space charismatic, fairly lightweight, and also generally much better to drive 보다 their competition.


The handy side the me, prefer Eric, understands that there are aspects of the RX-8 that make it a poor halo model. It provides as lot fuel together (and an ext oil than) the aforementioned CX-9, i beg your pardon weighs 1500 pounds more. And if a halo version is walking to be affordable, the must also sell in solid volumes. As Phil noted, fewer 보다 1200 people purchased one RX-8 last year. That"s around 10 percent of the Nissan 370Z"s volume and 1.4 percent that the Chevrolet Camaro"s volume. What makes this important sad is the the RX-8 is more enjoyable than either that those cars, and much more usable, too, many thanks to its fairly spacious interior and four doors.


It"s more than likely a bit much to suppose a small, independent automaker come invest in not one yet two affordable sporting activities cars. If the Miata and also the RX-8 space both thrown turn off a boat and also I"m able rescue just one, I"m chucking the life preserver over to the Miata. Indigenous conversations I"ve had actually with Mazda people, it appears they"re reasoning along the exact same lines.


All the this goes to say that life is unfair. The RX-8 deserves to endure simply since it"s for this reason unique and so brilliant, but the throat realities of the modern auto industry don"t identify such spatu qualities. Nevertheless, here"s come hoping against hope the Mazda scratches with each other the cash to upgrade it and also find much more fuel economic climate in the weird however wonderful Wankel.


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I"m glad this RX-8 found its method to our workplaces -- I"d never driven one RX-8 (or a Wankel-powered automobile, for that matter) before, and also considering the the RX-8"s future is shrouded in uncertainty, it"s far better to get into one currently than to wait.


The rotating is one rev-happy engine, however it"s also one that loves come sip oil. I assumed this was a mere stereotype till my commute home: thirty minutes in come it, the dreaded "low oil" tell-tale came on, and also sure enough, the engine to be frightfully short on 5W20. No a big deal, except that Mazda"s developers thought it a good idea to ask 90 percent that the engine compartment beneath molded polyurethane; an access door is detailed for the dipstick, yet reaching the oil to fill (or the battery, for that matter) needs ripping away every sorts of beauty, beauty covers.


Apart native this boy hiccup, the RX-8 proved flawless and also incredibly enjoyable. Ns can"t recall the critical time i drove a sports car that gripped the road half as well as this, let alone one that can be had for under $30,000, and is actually rather usable in daily life (those rear-hinged half-doors space a boon because that loading cargo, even if passengers can"t be persuaded to squeeze out behind the prior seats). Enthusiasts eyeing a $24,000 Volkswagen GTI should offer serious believed to choose up a $27,000 RX-8 Sport instead -- it"s a fully different level that sports vehicle for essentially the exact same money. That"s may be a bargain, however like most deals like this, you"ll have to act fast. RX-8 production ceases in ~ the end of this year, and also as my partner note, it may be a while before a similar proposition occurs again.


The RX-8 hasn"t seen all that countless changes due to the fact that hitting American dealerships in 2003, however this automobile remains a total joy to drive. You have to rev the hell out of it, yet it"s pretty fun to spin the Wankel past 9000 rpm. It most likely wouldn"t it is in so funny to placed fuel in the car, however; the EPA prices it at 16/22 mpg city/highway, i m sorry is as negative as some full-size pickups.


But no pickup might ever complement the RX-8"s nice steering, slick hands-on gearbox, or an excellent balance and also grip. This cool Touring model allows slightly more body roll than I expected, yet it"s an ext than acceptable and permits ride quality that"s quite comfortable. More than comfortable enough, ns decided, to shuttle approximately my two children for the weekend, which ns blogged around elsewhere top top automobilemag.com (Mazda RX-8: The household man"s sports car).

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Like my colleagues, I"ll it is in sad to view the RX-8 disappear. Heck, ns still even find its good -- and weird -- looks to be pretty eye-catching, a emotion that"s surely aided by the fact that so few of these cars are on the road.