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Mazda RX-8

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Comments

  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 7,238
    blondie....black is my favorite color for the RX8. It makes it look quite sinister. The downside, as you've noted, is keeping it clean. I've owned two black cars in my lifetime. They were both stunning when clean. Keeping them that way was another matter entirely. I would imagine it's a bit easier keeping a black car in FL clean (barring the polen). Here in the midwest, with winter weather prevalent 3-4 months out of the year, black can look pretty "cruddy" with black car encrusted with slush and salt, however. I'm sure a blonde in a black RX8 is a stunning combination.

    nyccarguy....ya know, I thought that the velocity red would be the most popular color for the RX8. Matter of fact, the velocity red was the one I had on order last summer until I saw the winning blue, which I fell in love with. But, it seems silver and titanium are the ones I see the most of. I think I've only seen only one velocity red 8 on the road in the (almost) year the 8 has been out. I've actually seen one other winning blue (like mine) on the road for the past year.

    You're right, the gold and silver paint "flecks" in the red paint make the car positively "glow". Truth told, the paint job on the RX8 is the best I've seen on any car I've ever owned. That includes a couple of highly regarded BMWs I used to own.
  • drummdrumm Posts: 16
    Not sure if this has been discussed already but...
    Can someone please explain to me exactly how do paddle shifts work? It seems like a few models are having them these days (Audi TT, Ferrari, Aston Martin and RX-8)

    First off, there is no clutch correct?…., so how does one knows when to shift, just let go of the gas and quickly shift the right-hand side pedal and press the gas again?

    Thanks,
    Drumm
  • ajvdhajvdh Posts: 223
    There are two different types of systems. The most common system is what the RX8 uses. What you really have in that case is a automatic transmission (complete with torque converter) that happens to let the driver override it's gear choice. You don't have to do anything with the gas pedal. Just hit the button.

    The less common type of system is what Ferrari uses, and what BMW uses in the M3. There you actually have a conventional manual gearbox and clutch underneath it all, with computer controlled servos operating everything. At least on BMW's system, you'll get smoother shifts if you lift slightly while shifting. If you're on a track, don't bother to lift.

    Audi has an interesting variation on the conventional gearbox system they call DSG. The tranny is actually essentially 2 separate clutch/gearboxes, 1 with the odd numbered gears, 1 with the even numbers. This allows the computer to "pre select" the next gear and shift into it both smooth and fast.

    Both systems typically prevent you from hurting the car (We're going 80 and you want 1st gear? I don't *think* so!). The advantages of the first type of system are smoother shifts and lower costs. The advantages of the second are faster shifts (less than 1/10 of a second), and no loss of power and precision due to a torque converter. Audi's DSG looks like it doesn't even give up anything in shift quality.
  • drummdrumm Posts: 16
    Interesting mechanics, thank you for the detailed explanation ajvdh.

    I will take the RX-8 for a test drive to get a better feel for it’s paddle system. Reading your post I find it difficult to imagine just shifting by the press of a button w/out lifting the gas pedal. IN your opinion, is it a good/fun system? And the engine does NOT shifts it for you, right? You would have to do that yourself by pressing the paddle??

    I’ve always been a manual-gear guy when it comes to cars but these new manuals on the steering wheel w/out clutches intrigue me.

    The Audi system certainly sounds fascinating as well. Thanks again ajvdh.
  • howachowac Posts: 52
    As ajvdh pointed out, the system in the RX-8 is just an automatic transmission. The paddles/buttons are simply switches for the driver to initiate the shifts. Imagine driving a vehicle with an automatic: you don't lift off of the gas pedal when the car shifts for itself. In the same way, when you actuate the paddles/buttons, the system just performs the same shift action as what an ordinary automatic would. Nothing fancy.

    Some systems will force a shift at redline, some don't. Others will even automatically shift into 1st gear when you come to a complete stop. No matter the implementation, these systems are still automatics. The BMW and Audi systems are different (as ajvdh mentioned above).

    As for the fun-to-drive factor, it's probably better than the usual automatics because you can force the transmission to shift or hold a gear as you please. But some people still prefer the old manual with a clutch.
  • drummdrumm Posts: 16
    Well to me manuals have some pros and cons..... one of the things I like about them is that is up to the driver to charge the transmission or hold a gear as one pleases.

    Sounds to me that when it's all said and done, I would prefer the 'old fashioned' manual with a clutch.

    I'd be interested to see where cars will be w/ this technology a few years from now. You don't think cars will stop using manual gear boxes? Hope not..
  • howachowac Posts: 52
    I agree! I also prefer an "old fashioned" manual with a clutch. However, I do understand the inconvenience if one has to face stop-and-go traffic on a daily basis.

    From my limited experience with the RX-8 (a few test drives, and the Rev It Up event), the manual is definitely the more exciting choice. The auto that I tried felt sluggish off the line (possibly due to the 2 missing gears), while the manual was a pure joy! I'll take the 6-speed anyday (no offense to any auto RX-8 drivers out there). :)

    Many people seem to agree that the Audi DSG system has quite a bit of potential. We'll see how it pans out in the near future.
  • drummdrumm Posts: 16
    I agree that I'll take the 6-speed anyday. I have driven the 6-speed RX-8 and it’s an exhilarating experience that can only be felt w/ a manual. HOWEVER, there have been many times during stop-and-go traffic on a daily basis that I have wished for the convenience of an automatic.

    I have driven an automatic 2003 Audi A4 with tiptronic-manual system many times and well… I wasn’t really impressed with the results. It’s basically idiot-proof (I use this term as a way of describing the system, NOT any Audi driver out there) were it shifts it automatically if the engine notices that you are not using the gears. But I understand the new Audi TT is a different system and one that is impressive to use as a manual gearbox.

    I guess you just can’t have both a manual gear-box and an automatic in ONE car.:) I think the best solution is to buy TWO cars with different trannis.. IF I had the $$ of course:)
  • canuettecanuette Posts: 10
    Just finished cleaning my 8 with nanowax,does all it saya i'll do, no swirl marks nor small scratches. Not the easiest wax to use but worth it.
  • blondieblondie Posts: 9
    Sinister is right.
    2 tickets the first 10 days I owned it. :0(
  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 7,238
    Cheezeboy is the resident "auto-tranny" fanatic around here. I'm sure he'll have some comments.

    But, if you decide you want to stay with a manual tranny, the RX8's is one of the best in the biz. Shifter is of the short throw variety and the clutch is light with good "take up". Pedals are very near perfect for "heal/toeing" technique. It's compared regularly to the manual in the Miata, which is widely regarded as the best one in the industry. Light clutch + good take-up + short "snick-snick" shifter = great manual trans.
  • carlikercarliker Posts: 285
    I thought you guys would like to see some pictures of a Mazdaspeed version of the RX-8. This was on Autoweek.com. As the article says, they are only available in Japan (and even then, all 300 made are sold out). The car looks really cool!

     http://www.autoweek.com/cat_content.mv?port_code=autoweek&cat- _code=carnews&loc_code=index&content_code=09734493
  • the_big_hthe_big_h Posts: 1,583
    that's THE color I want my future RX-8 to look like!!!!!

    *drool* **faints**
  • tmundartmundar Posts: 70
    Personally, I have never understood why everyone thinks that manual transmissions are so much extra work in stop-and-go driving. Maybe the stop-and-go driving is not stop-and-go enough here for me to see the advantage of an AT.

    In a manual transmission car, when traffic starts moving and I push on the gas pedal, and when traffic slows down, I take my foot off the gas pedal. Since I can leave the car in the most appropriate gear, I can modulate my speed using only the accelerator. I occasionally have to use my brakes if traffic completely stops, and I suppose that I also have the arduous task of pushing in the clutch.

    With an auto, you press the gas when traffic moves, and when traffic slows down, you have to use the brakes because the car will automatically upshift to a higher gear. I really don't see what the advantage is to this gas, brake, gas, brake ballet that automatic drivers are so fond of.

    I also like the little bit of extra mental stimulation I get balancing all the variables of accelerator position, clutch position, gear selection, and (occasionally) brakes to keep the car at the speed it needs to be.

    Tom
  • revdrluvrevdrluv Posts: 417
    I moved to LA last summer and the stop and go traffic here is among (if not THE...) worst, and I have never considered my manual transmission a chore.

    Plus whatever it may lose to an auto in terms of comfort in a gridlock, it more than redeems itself for in the canyons. I drive in them more than on the congested highways anyhow.
  • evaddaveevaddave Posts: 156
    I'm holding out for something that's close to the Samba Green on my del Sol, with the same color touches on the inside that they do with the red RX-8s.

    Most people who enjoy driving enjoy driving a stick. To those people, shifting is fun, whether it's in traffic or out on the open (twisty) road. The rest of the people in this world--probably around 95%--are just looking for an armchair on wheels. To them, shifting is a bother, and doesn't really help them get from point A to point B.

    Heck to *some* of those people, even paying attention is a bother. Stopping for stop signs, looking while backing, etc. Such nonsense interferes with their coffee/cigarrette break and phone conversation, often all at the same time.

    Anyway, enough with the rant. I just need Mazda to build my green RX-8 with the green swatches inside. But I'm not holding my breath. :)

    -Dave
  • revdrluvrevdrluv Posts: 417
    That is the real bother for most people, that you can't eat your breakfast and read your newspaper while stuck in the morning traffic.
  • cheezeboycheezeboy Posts: 218
    Well, my two cents, being the resident "AT fanatic"...The AT is NOT the MT. Paddle shifting is not as precise as the MT, nor will it ever be. (well, it might - they 'could' program it to shift hard I guess. they do so in 'vettes these days I hear) The paddles are pure 'silly fun'. In paddle mode it WILL shift for you at certain rpms...My observation is that 3rd gear will go to 8500, but 1st and 2nd only to 7500....('only'...I crack myself up when I say that!..I've had motorcycles not rev that high..) Paddle mode will NOT let you shift from 4th to 1st at speed....yes, I tried! For me, I love it. If I want to go 'fast' and or 'quick', I will get on a cycle - nothing, and I mean nothing, comes close to that. The AT is perfect for those daily drives in S&G traffic. And for those who say a MT is fine and not a big deal, well, you lie. They is nothing you can do but push in the clutch when you come to a complete stop, which I do daily in traffic on I-95. Stopped dead. Not moving. If you are in gear, you are in someone's rear bumper. OR you have stalled the engine. You imply that S&G is mostly "GO"...it's not here....it's mostly "STOP".
    Here in So.FL you leave 10 feet in front of your car, that gap gets filled....I-95 abhores a vaccume!.....My reasons for an AT are many-fold, but that element is one of them. I've been through too many miles with a cycle clutch to go through them again in my car!! However, if you have open space to drive on a daily basis, you BETTER get the MT!....or GGuy and I will slap you silly!..... :-)

    Now, regarding the darn DVD/GPS thingy....I have heard too many people say that they would love to use it as a "movie viewer".....people, people, people.....can you not foresee how much of a bad idea this is?.....how many of us have been cut-off by the "Cell Phone" driver....or the "Make-up Driver"...or the "Loading CD Driver"....or the "Hot Coffee Driver"??.....now you want to put people out there on the roads, driving 80mph, while talking on their cell-phones AND watching the plane crash scene from "Castaway"?.....or worse yet, how about "Need For Speed"...this all causes more accidients that cause more S&G traffic!!...LOL!!.....well, that's my rant on that. (I won't go into the whole new OLED, Organic Light Emitting Diode, technology that will allow for small, full color displays for headsets/glasses...oh boy...)[Google OLED, you will see]

    My Velocity Red paint is fantastic!...it totally changes color depending on the sunlight. Very cool. It was one of it's selling points for me. My second choice was silver. I thought about the green, but it's really dark....almost black at times.....not good in So.FL....to darn hot!...

    ok, sorry for the long rant....guess my day got to me and I took it out on you nice folks here at Edmunds.....my apologies......now, lets all go take some 20mph curves at 70!!!....wheeeee!!!!
  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 7,238
    My oh my....I didnt' realize how "vocal" the manual vs auto tranny debate would get.

    Bottom line...those that want a quick car that handles superbly, that looks great with high quality throughout, but drives in congested areas, I can understand the allure of an auto transmission. I travel a lot to much larger areas than where I live. I'm not so certain I'd be such a hard core manual trans driver if I had to put up with that kind of traffic, day in/day out.

    Cheezeboy...I can relate to being on the road where a 10' gap in the flow of traffic quickly (and unsafely) someone tries to squeeze their SUV in.

    Both flavors of the RX8 are good at what they do.

    If it's any consolation, before I bought my RX8, I extensively test drove both the manual trans 350Z and the G35c. With their heavy clutch and shifter, that you almost have to force into gear, would be much worse in stop and go traffic.

    The only "green" color the RX8 comes in currently is the Nordic Green. It has the same gold/silver metalflake that the Velocity Red has in the paint. In bright sunshine, it looks like a very "sparkly" dark green. In the shadows and at night, it looks black....a nice effect.

    I was offered (and turned down) my dealer's offer to put in a "custom" interior which would have put "blue" accents in the seats and interior to mimic the winning blue of the exterior. I think the price was something along the lines of $750 to do it. I'm sure any dealer will do the same (or any car upholstery shop) for a price.

    Cheeze, I'm with you regarding playing DVDs on the GPS screen. I can only ask "why"? Aside from the obvious safety issues of trying to drive while watching a movie, why would anyone (even when stationary) want to watch the latest blockbuster on a teeny/tiny screen?

    There's a guy on my street that does "custom" work for the SUV crowd. I posed the same question to him. He said 50% of his business is installing these DVD units. More telling, is he says most of them are installed in the back seats of the SUVs to PEOPLE WHO HAVE NO KIDS. So, without any tikes in the back seat to keep entertained, the reasons for such an expensive installation is even more perplexing to me.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,325
    just because you posed the question, let me offer an answer. An unmarried couple (of which I am a part at the moment) have the freedom to do a bit of travelling. Its not uncommon for us to go on road trips. I wouldn't mind having the ability to take a break and be able to enjoy the comforts of a hotel room without actually renting one. Just fold the seats flat, stretch out, enjoy a movie, take a nap, etc. Just a thought.

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '14 Town&Country

  • carlikercarliker Posts: 285
    Good answer gbrozen! Has it really been that long since you and a special someone went cross-country, graphic? Only kidding! To keep this within the RX-8 topic, since there are only 3 to 4 months left until the 2005 RX-8 version comes out, has anyone heard anything about changes? Discuss.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,325
    ya know, i went back and reread that just now. i'm married, actually. Meant to say a married couple with no kids. Geez. Don't tell my wife about that slipup.

    regarding '05 RX8. Ya think we'll see the Mazdaspeed version???

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '14 Town&Country

  • tmundartmundar Posts: 70
    cheezeboy: And for those who say a MT is fine and not a big deal, well, you lie.

    So, you are calling me a liar? I expressed an opinion that the difference between effort for a MT and AT in stop-and-go is negligible. It is your opinion that AT are significantly easier than MT in heavy traffic. Why do you think that your opinion is fact and my opinion is a lie?

    I actually find automatic transmissions annoying to use, even in stop-and-go traffic. So my personal opinion is actually the exact opposite of yours. I think that MT are better to use in traffic than AT. Just because that is true for me doesn't mean I think that is true for everybody. With how often the "AT are better for traffic" opinion is brought up, I occasionally like injecting my opposing view.

    Don't mistake my preference for manual transmission as an attack on those who prefer automatics.

    cheezeboy: Here in So.FL you leave 10 feet in front of your car, that gap gets filled....I-95 abhores a vaccume!

    My desire to avoid hitting somebody overrides my desire to not have people get in front of me. It surprises me how many people seem to have the opposite priority.

    Hypothetically, let's say that traffic is averaging 10 MPH (approx. 1 car length per second), 20 cars get in front of me, and they each leave 1/2 car length of following distance. Such a situation would delay me 30 seconds from reaching my destination. In practice, rarely does someone who gets in front of me get any farther than 2 cars ahead of me, and often, I end up passing him later anyway due to better lane choices.

    I like to get where I am going as (time) efficiently as possible (and I've got the tickets to prove it), but heavy traffic is a very poor place to try to do it.

    graphicguy: [For someone who] drives in congested areas, I can understand the allure of an auto transmission.

    I don't understand the allure of an automatic transmission, but I don't have anything against those who do.

    Tom
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,325
    the disconnect is you guys are talking about different types of traffic, IMHO. In traffic that is moving, however slowly, an MT is not a problem. In traffic that comes to a dead stop every 30 feet, it can be quite annoying and tiresome.

    But that's why we have choices. Woohoo! Viva la difference! ;)

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '14 Town&Country

  • carlikercarliker Posts: 285
    I agree with gbrozen about the MT being more of a pain when having to completely stop and go. However, whether you are driving an MT or AT, it's still irritating to be stopping every second, like at a long waiting stop sign.

    gbrozen - You'll be sleeping in your RX-8 if your wife reads your post.

    tmundar - cheeseboy is commenting with a smile on his face...so take it easy...he only actually calls people liars when they mention that they have found young women lying on the hood of their RX-8s and don't get aroused by it.
  • blondieblondie Posts: 9
    I am continually bummed by the mpg...I am getting about 17-18mpg. Is that the average for everyone?
    I don't remember what the sticker said when I purchased (I was too excited at the time to really care about such minor details!)
  • tmundartmundar Posts: 70
    carliker: cheeseboy is commenting with a smile on his face...so take it easy

    I was also commenting with a smile on my face. Without hearing the tone of voice, humor and lightheartedness doesn't always come across in simple text messages. I wasn't at all upset about what he said.

    blondie: I am continually bummed by the mpg

    How you drive has a large bearing on your mileage. For instance, I get crappy gas mileage, no matter which car I drive. I sometimes joke to my passengers about how "I can't understand why I get such poor gas mileage" while I am accelerating at full throttle from a stop.

    Tom
  • revdrluvrevdrluv Posts: 417
    To keep a topic that shoulda died alive:

    Even in stop and go the MT can have many advantages. Specifically when you need to switch lanes when yours is stopped and the other is moving. With a high-revving, low torque engine you need a sec to get going with an AT, and then it will upshift right when you need the power again. I like the control I have with a MT in these tight situations.
  • revdrluvrevdrluv Posts: 417
    Ok, go ahead and tell us about how your paddles are the best of both worlds cheezy!
  • cheezeboycheezeboy Posts: 218
    well.....I have one bad day at work, take it out on Edmunds, and all heck breaks loose!!!....LOL!!

    tmundar- humble apologies if you thought my low blood sugar rant was a personal attack. If you can be in gear AND stopped and not have issues of some sort, you are a far better person than I. I had a MT Sidekick for years as well as a few motorcycles - I am over the clutch....Blame South Florida again for something!! :-) and I agree with you on the 10'gap thing - gguy said it clearly : if an SUV thinks it can make the gap, it will try - driver beware!....(notice to SUV owners, it not just you, it's any car, but we like to pick on you all for fun!).....and it it helps you better understand the allure, try driving your MT, in congested traffic, with one less leg. The allure should be a bit clearer..... ;-)...and if you are going to claim that you are typing with a smile on your face, then at least USE a smiley!!!.. :-) wheee!!!

    but it's interesting that most of the car builders are going to the darn "autoStick" concept...and the 2 transmission lines thing...I just read in Autoweek about the new Ferrari 612...and they said that 80% of the ones made will be a paddle shift AT.....which I found interesting....but I am sure there is some resonable marketing reason....just thought it was odd, in a supercar sort of way....

    I still don't believe gguy's "young blonde girl-on-hood" story...we want pix...we want pix!!...

    blondie - I am getting 16 to 18 mpg in city driving, but I drive a bit like tmundar as well! Lots of speedy diving to stop signs - just so much fun to do!!!.....my hwy gas mileage is as they claim about 25.....

    saw a nice Mazda 3 the other night...speedy little bugger!....looks cute...another fine addition to the Mazda clan!...zoom zoom!!
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