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Mazda RX-8

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Comments

  • sphinx99sphinx99 Posts: 776
    Based on what I have read, the RX-8 has roughly the same engine torque curve as my S2000 and Prelude. Based on my experience, plus the positioning of the car, I'd be a little concerned if the RX-8 really is a $30k car. The reasoning is that while my cars are quick, they lose most of their punch with passengers. Both become considerably less response with a passenger, and the Prelude becomes a dog if I ever have two people squeezed into the back seat. Now here comes the Mazda RX-8, same torque characteristics but with that comfortable and accessible back seat that encourages people to get in there. (Unlike my Prelude where only contortionists can get in and fit.) That means that we'll see a fair number of 4-passenger RX-8 situations, and I've got to wonder how the car is going to manage that.

    In that sense, and with this price, I start to question the value of the rotary in a world of 240+ hp V6 sedans at the same price point.

    That said, none of those V6 sedans look as hot as the RX-8.
  • I've been thinking the same thing. My guess is that the performance will come in somewhere between the Prelude and the S2000. Fast enough to be entertaining, but probably not serious competition for the 350Z.

    Still, the more I look at the RX-8, the more I like it, and the more I like it better than the 350Z. In my opinion, the RX-8 has the Z beat on both exterior and interior styling, despite having four doors and four seats (both minuses in my book).

    Personally, I hope the RX-8 is a runaway success -- so that we'll be seeing the new RX-7 soon. The rumors tell of a naturally-aspirated 300 HP Renesis, bored to a larger displacement. Put that engine on a two-door RX-8 platform; make it lighter, shorter, and sleeker; and price it around $32K -- and that's the car I want to buy.
  • sphinx99sphinx99 Posts: 776
    I think we'll be seeing a whole lot of Accord V6 Coupe vs. Mazda RX-8 flamefests in the coming year. There's also a Lexus IS300 coupe variant coming along this year, right? Let the Japanese Coupe Wars begin...
  • the_big_hthe_big_h Posts: 1,583
    is that even fair? hahahahahahahahahahahahaha
  • the_big_hthe_big_h Posts: 1,583
    from Auto Express in UK


    http://www.autoexpress.co.uk/?previews/previews_story.php?id=25630


    of which contains this little snippet:


    "Maximum power is at a heady 8,500rpm, just shy of the 9,000rpm red line, while a torque figure of 216Nm is developed at 7,500rpm. It's easy to imagine that the RX-8 is slow to respond at low revs, but it obviously loves being pushed – some 90 per cent of the torque is available from only 3,250rpm, so the engine feels strong in the mid-range."

  • In any other year, a $26K 240HP sports coupe with 212 ft-lbs of torque and four-wheel independent suspension would be an amazing performance value. The fact that Nissan and Mazda are offering RWD sports cars with even more power for about the same price is less a criticism of Honda than a statement about how far the bar has risen -- just in the last year.

    Bad timing for Honda, but good times for enthusiast buyers...
  • the_big_hthe_big_h Posts: 1,583
    but see, for 26k you get a pretty much LOADED v6 accord coupe, whereas the RX-8 will START at around 26k, and well equipped at around 30k.

    but of course, you get what you pay for. Like the Z, the RX-8 will be track-capable right off the lot, while the Accord will just understeer at every turn due to its heavy weight and FWD.
  • sphinx99sphinx99 Posts: 776
    Yes, if the RX-8 truly is track-worthy (we won't know until it shows up) then it'll sit in a different category amongst some shoppers.

    For most, though, the RX-8 falls squarely into the "entry level sporty performance coupe" category. Right now that category has two groups of players. One group consists of the the upscale rockets (RSX-S, Celica GTS, GTI GLX, Mustang GT, etc.) while the other coupe consists of the entry level lux/sport coupes (Accord V6 MT, CL-S, 325Ci, G35c, maybe the Pontiac Grand Prix GTP). The first group supplies the attitude, spunkiness, muscle or lithe handling, but shoppers of these cars might have difficulty affording a RX-8. The second group tends to have much more upscale trappings and draw in older, non-racer types, who may not be comfortable with a "track-ready" suspension or a high-revving engine.

    As such, I expect the RX-8 to be (like most coupes that take the "performance" angle a little too seriously) a high priced, low volume seller that isn't as important to Mazda as, say, the Miata or the Mazda 6, and may not do as well against volume heavyweights like an Accord. The more interesting cars, in my opinion, are the potential descendents of the RX-8. Specifically, the rotary two-seat sports car that some have alluded to here, and the convertible version of the RX-8 that many mags have been speculating about. I'd have a tough time paying upper $20s for a RX-8 in its first year out, but the same price for a convertible version? Against Solaras and Sebrings, a topless 2+2 Mazda would have no trouble finding my dollars. If you think about it, nothing short of a $40k 3-series convertible would touch a convertible RX-8.
  • the_big_hthe_big_h Posts: 1,583
    the only one that MAY match the RX-8 in terms of total driving performance would be the G35c (aka the civilized Z), all the other ones are either too heavy or driving the wrong wheels.

    The RX-8, for the time being, will be Mazda's 'halo' car in its lineup, representing the epitome of Mazda engineering (led by the one and only RENESIS Wankel). As such it will never be the volume leader like the Accord, and it will be priced like a low-volume car. I'm not sure how many Z's Nissan are projecting to sell, but I'd say Mazda is hoping for similar numbers from the RX-8, or even more since it's got 2 more seats.

    a Convertible RX-8? never! what are they gonna do, take out the little quad-cab rear doors and make it a true coupe? heck, while we're at it why don't we shorten the wheelbase and take out the rear seats and call it the RX-7?!?!?
  • snaphooksnaphook Posts: 130
    If the RX-8 has such a flat power curve from 3250 to redline what is the big advantage in a 6 speed over a 5 speed? It seems to me that the only reason to shift gears is keep your rpms in the optimum power range. If this range is so large, as is being suggested, it seems you could get by with even a 4 speed. I personally like manuals but I see no benefit in a configuration that forces you to shift more than is necessary. I suspect a lot of people will end up going straight from 1st to 3rd or 2nd to 4th.
  • sphinx99sphinx99 Posts: 776
    "a Convertible RX-8? never! what are they gonna do, take out the little quad-cab rear doors and make it a true coupe? heck, while we're at it why don't we shorten the wheelbase and take out the rear seats and call it the RX-7?!?!?"

    Road and Track felt that the very existence of the rear doors (requiring a chassis with limited side column bracing a la Mercedes CLK) is strong evidence of a convertible. Moreover according to the link posted above, the RX-8 uses the same sort of backbone frame as the S2000--another convertible.

    As for, "The RX-8, for the time being, will be Mazda's 'halo' car in its lineup",

    I agree. All I'm saying is that as a longtime owner and fan of one of Honda's halo cars (the Prelude) I know what the fate of these sorts of vehicles are. Halo vehicles are tough sells when they are pushed out the door in coupe form. Mazda's not dumb; they know this. That's why I see the RX-8 being a first step. The real halo car is a few years away.
  • the_big_hthe_big_h Posts: 1,583
    will never become a reality if this bad puppy don't sell well.

    as for the 6 speed, who doesn't like rowing through 4 gears just to get to 40mph from the stoplight :-D
  • With a 9000 RPM redline, you can probably hit 40 in first gear...
  • sunilbsunilb Posts: 407
    >>Now here comes the Mazda RX-8, same torque characteristics but with that comfortable and accessible back seat that encourages people to get in there. (Unlike my Prelude where only contortionists can get in and fit.) That means that we'll see a fair number of 4-passenger RX-8 situations, and I've got to wonder how the car is going to manage that.<<

    This is exactly what my concern is-- I've had a high-revving Honda, and I loved it... as long there were no more than 2 of us in it! The RX-8 is inviting 4 people to sit in it, and I am concerned that it'll be really slow off the line due to the extra passengers.

    I've sat in the back of a G35C and was comfortable (I'm only 5'7"), but ingress/egress left something to be desired. The engine, of course, could pull 4 people around without hesitation.

    My only other concern with the RX-8 (hey, no car is perfect) is the digital speedometer. Obviously, not a deal-breaker, but outside of the clock and radio controls, I dislike digital output.
  • the_big_hthe_big_h Posts: 1,583
    as long as the tachometer is where it's suppose to be, right in the middle! (having the speedo in the same gauge doesn't hurt either)
  • snaphooksnaphook Posts: 130
    I don't like digital speedometers either. But what I found even more unappealing, almost to the point of being comical, is that there appears to be an indicator light telling you when to upshift and downshift. Someone please tell me that I'm mistaken about this.
  • the_big_hthe_big_h Posts: 1,583
    it lights up along with a warning buzzzzz to tell you "keep revving!!!"

    :-D
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    Why the concern about lack of torque with 4 people? If somehow or another, Lotus was able to release a 4 seat version of the Elise, would everybody whine that the car 'lacked' power when fully loaded?

    Who cares?

    The car has merit because it allows you to OCCASIONALLY take a couple of extra folks (wife and kids maybe) out for a bite to eat and still provide plenty of entertainment value for the 95% of the time when its just you and the car. I really don't anticipate having to uphold my manhood against some snotnose in a Mustang while I've got the family aboard.

    How often do you really expect to see 4 people in a G35c anyway?
  • sunilbsunilb Posts: 407
    To me, the difference is that the G35c provides the seats and the power to move 4 people without trouble.

    The RX-8 actually has 4 doors that "invite" others to sit down, without a second thought.... until you have to do with a low-torque motor. I view the RX-8 as a sedan-- something I should easily be able to carry 4 people in without trouble.

    The G35c would be more of an impractical car in this sense (due to people having to climb in and out with some difficulty).

    I think the driving characteristics of the RX-8 will change significantly depending on how many people you have in the car.
  • tries to race with 4 people in any car? the extra seats are just there for convenience, damn. at least now you can pick up two friends in your car if you want to go somewhere. every article says the car handles very well. man no one complained like this when the wrx came out as a sedan only, or when the lancer is coming as a sedan only.
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    Actually, the driving characteristics of ANY lightweight car will change signficantly with 4 adults aboard vs. just a driver. Even if the RX-8 had 300 ftlbs available, the HANDLING would still be considerably affected. And the same goes for the G35c.

    On second thought, the G35c wouldn't be affected as much, simply from the standpoint that the G35c is a much heavier (porkier?) car to begin with. If you're all that worried about available torque with a full passenger load, go get yourself a used Impala SS.
  • the_big_hthe_big_h Posts: 1,583
    considering that RX-8 only weights around 2800lbs., adding 3-400lbs. of passenger will greatly alter the dynamic of the car.

    kinda like adding weight ballast to a leading car in a race to even out the competition you know ;-)
  • sphinx99sphinx99 Posts: 776
    "considering that RX-8 only weights around 2800lbs"

    Source? When I was asking about weight a few months ago, people were citing 3000lbs curb weight. 2800lbs/250hp is very attractive.

    As for the weigh issue, I'd be with mikemajesty, etc., on wondering why it matters if the RX-8 were priced in the low to mid $20s as a direct competitor to cars like the RSX-S and WRX. But, if it's really starting at $26k, runs into the $30s, and is unlikely to be discounted, then suddenly I'm cross-shopping it against Accord V6 6MTs, Infiniti G35s and the like, and all of those cars have significantly more grunt, along with some luxury trappings. I have absolutely no problem with a lithe, semi-spartan, high-revving, great handling two-seater or 2+2. I happen to own one of each. However, my beloved Prelude was cancelled because its price *approached* that of the RX-8, and in the RX-8 I see a very, very similar car: phenomenal handling, ok interior, somewhat torque-deficient engine, 2+2 config. It'll be a halo car, yes, but it'll be a tough sell for the price if it's a $30k coupe with 150 ftlbs of torque. And the moment a RX-7 (or some variant) comes along, it'll be dropped like a rock just as Honda dropped the Prelude the moment the S2000 showed up on the scene. I'm having a hard time seeing the RX-8 lasting long or selling well with a two-seater on the horizon, and i have a hard time seeing Mazda disregarding the two-seat market given their expertise with the Miata and their long rotary roadster history going all the way back to the, what was it, the Cosmo?

    I'll be blunt - I see the RX-8 as a technology mule designed to market "zoom zoom" for 24 months before Mazda debuts a rotary sports car. My prediction: by 2007 there will be no "sport" RX-8.
  • sphinx99sphinx99 Posts: 776
    2755lbs is very impressive. That places it on par with a S2000 despite costing less and having two extra seats.
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    I think the 2755 lbs. was an early goal (=1250 kg).

    Besides, even at 2970lbs, it is still nearly 500 lbs lighter than the G35c. A healthy V6 (and that much loved torque) will certainly help offset that in the G.......as far as acceleration goes. But mass is mass is mass. A healthy V6 doesn't help a bit in the handling department.

    I get back to my earlier question: why do we care how the car performs with 4 passengers? Anybody know of ANY publication which routinely tests cars with anything more than the driver and a half tank of gas? Jeez, do you think a sportbike owner worries that the guy on the Harley is gonna spank him in the off chance they both have passengers?

    The name of the publication isn't "Car and Occupants" for a reason.....
  • SPYDER98SPYDER98 Posts: 239
    Thats because the WRX and lancer evo are what they are, "Sedans" and have real 4 doors, along with real rear passenger/cargo room, and torque filled engines to cart 4 adults around effortlessly.

    To call the RX8 a sports car, then extend its wheel base, add 2 doors and look at this as a convenience. Well...if thats how it makes you feel, then I think this might be the wrong car for you.
    I personally dont want the extra doors for convenience. I would prefer a better looking sports coupe, with cramped rear seating (or none), and a shorter wheel base.

    I look at mazda as a company which ruined, what potentially could of been a potentially great sports car.

    As far as rumors, speculations of a upcoming 2 seat rotary car. Well...I'll believe it when I see it. And if sales of the RX8 are what will determine the fate of an upcoming car like that..Well I wish them luck.
  • sphinx99sphinx99 Posts: 776
    "I get back to my earlier question: why do we care how the car performs with 4 passengers? Anybody know of ANY publication which routinely tests cars with anything more than the driver and a half tank of gas? Jeez, do you think a sportbike owner worries that the guy on the Harley is gonna spank him in the off chance they both have passengers?"

    We care because we're not auto journalists. Someday when I grow up and become a Car and Driver writer, then I'll wax poetic about how great a car handles with one person in it while streetracing. And, I won't care about anything else because heck, it's not like I'm paying for the thing. Heck, maybe I'll spend more time talking about the optional wheels than the actual driving experience, a la Edmunds and their Ferrari long-term vehicle.

    Until that day when I no longer have to live in the real world, I'm going to wonder how a car marketed as a $30,000 posh high-utility four-person vehicle is going to accelerate with a high revving, low torque engine. I'm going to compare it to my experiences driving a similarly sized car with a similar engine. I'm going to care, and wonder whether it's right for a car to aim for the compact sport sedans while wearing a compact sport coupe engine.

    The magazines never, ever tell the full story. If they did, I wouldn't be reading anything on these town halls because I wouldn't need to.
  • the_big_hthe_big_h Posts: 1,583
    I bring more eye candy for all!


    check out the RX-8 from the X-Men sequal 'X2'!


    image


    LA Times Article


    image


    http://www.rotarynews.com/

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