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Mazda RX-8

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  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 7,275
    There's a frequent contributor to this board that owns an automatic RX8 that may disagree with your opinion.

    I'm not saying that the 6-speed sport option isn't a much better performer, but I've never heard an automatic owner say they are disappointed in their RX8 either.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,116
    There are many tricks for driving without snow tires that unfortunately aren't taught to drivers anymore. You can vary tire pressures, and you can take hills in different ways, different angles, different gears, even in reverse! But all this is a hassle for most people. They just wanna GO!

    But sure, some hills you just can't get up without snows...that's why I said 50% driver...and there are some hills that 12-wheel drive with chains and spikes aren't going to conquer.

    It depends on your climate...if you live in Denver, maybe you don't even need snow tires except for the 2X a year that the snow doesn't melt in 6 hours...why bother? But Lake Tahoe...well, I'd keep the RX-8 in the garage on snowy days.

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  • I have a lease for 24 months and need snow tires but do not want to pay much. I have the larger wheels on my rx8 does anyone have a suggestion on who to order from and how much to pay
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,116
    Why don't you go visit one of our partners at www.tirerack.com, or better yet post a question to one of their reps who checks in with us in his own forum:

    Ask Connor At Tire Rack Forum.

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  • I located mine on ebay last year. Believe it or not it was a dealer in florida that was shipped wrong stock. I purchased wheels 18 inch and tires with shipping for $900.

    If I can find the dealers name I will let you know. If you have a second car and can wait until the snow melts to pavement you may be okay without snows. Otherwise I think you need to make the investment.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    Not that you buy either an S2000 or RX8 with fuel economy as the highest priority, but:

    According to Edmunds 13,000 mile long term test report of the RX8, their fuel mileage ranged from a worst of 13+/- to a best of 19+/- with an average of 17+/-.

    In 18,000 miles of driving a 2002 S2000, my mileage ranged from a worst of 18.5 mpg to a best of 32.1 mpg and an average of 23.1 mpg. At least 75% of this driving, including several 30-32 mpg highway trips at 75+ mph was done with the top down, not exactly the most aerodynamic setup.

    That is a whopping 30% to 60% better for the S2000, with the performance advantage going to the S2000 as well. It causes me to think that uniqueness aside, the rotory engine is simply not an efficient alternative to a high performance piston engine. I asked a friend who owns a 2002 M5 (nearly 4,000 lbs and 400 hp) what his mileage is and it ranges from 13-15 mpg pure city to 25 mpg on the highway with an overall average of 18 +/- (i.e. also better than the 3,000 lb 238 hp RX8). I appreciate new and different technology that offers advantages - like the E320 CDI my marketing director just bought. It will outperform the former E420 V8 and get 35+ mpg on the highway. But it seems to me that rotary engine technology offers nothing to warrant its use in high performance sports cars or family sedans. Other than perhaps giving Mazda a marketing niche to differentiate itself.
  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 7,275
    As they say...."if we have to explain it to you, you still won't understand" regarding the RENESIS.

    And yes, the RX8 is a high performance sports car. Ask any of us who own one. Those of us who chose the RX8 over the similarly priced piston engined 350Z/G35c can attest to its capabilities over those cars.

    The S2000 is a roadster, so it really is an apples to organges comparison...although, there are strong rumors surrounding a roadster version of the RX8.

    Anyone buying any sports car putting MPG at the top of their list is really fooling themselves. I'm getting 18 MPG in the city, 19 MPG in mixed driving and hit 25 MPG on an "all highway" run recently.

    The only other car I would want to move to in replacement of my RX8 would be the '05 Corvette. I woudln't want to move to a Nissan (or any other make that competes in the segment) in replacement of my RX8.
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    And the Corvette is a roadster as well, so that comparison is also not "valid". ;-)

    Best part of the RX-8 in my opinion, is it's "almost" a 3rd gen RX-7 in handling and looks, and it seats four comfortably. Oh, and it has a trunk! When it comes with more power it will be complete.

    The S2000 is probably the best roadster in that price range.

    The RX-8 is probably the best 4 seat sports sedan in its' price range.

    Oh, and the Alberta (Canada) govt. calls the RX-8 a "4 door coupe". A "coupe" is a 2 door car with a fixed roof. Go figure.
  • Had a chance to drive our RX-8 up to Niagra-on-the Lake this past weekend--about 600 miles; a few observations.

    Gas mileage--without the M flash and only 4K on the car, we got a hair over 24mpg keep the car under 75mph--not bad.

    Plenty of trunk room for luggage for a weekend trip

    Very comfortable ride, 5 hours in the car was a snap--just wish we hadn't gotten the sunroof, would like a bit more headroom.
  • He is one for madza to think about: a hybrid rx8--the electric motor would give it a huge torque increase along with much better city gas mileage. They could even detune the rotary some to generate better highway mileage. These two power plants together could produce well over 325hp. Now all they would have to do is sell it at a reasonable price. With the electric motor they should be able to get the rx8 to 60mph in the low 4 sec range.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,475
    its not impossible, but its not easy, either. it would add quite a bit of weight to the car and, as a result, require a complete suspension redesign. It would screw up the track prowess of the car regardless.

    '13 Stang GT; '15 Fit; '98 Volvo S70; '14 Town&Country

  • cheezeboycheezeboy Posts: 218
    Wow....I've been away from the boards for awhile and all I see is a bunch of negativity...so I will take it upon myself to bring a bit-o-sunshine to the RX8 board!

    I LOVE MY RX8!!!......I don't care if she has the "low power" Automatic....I don't care if she doesn't sip gas like a hybred....She simply is the BEST car I've owned.....she handles great....she stops great...she LOOKS great......she's easy to wash...she can carry my bike....she holds all my amps and guitars for gigs.....she's almost(let's not get crazy here!) better than a woman.....!!!

    so, there is my 2 cents of happiness for the RX8. If she does me wrong in the future, so be it. I'll adapt and move on. For now, I will enjoy the best darn piece of automotive engieering you can buy for $27Kish....... :-)

    on a side note - driving to work today I was stuck(yet again) in slow/stop traffic. In front of me was a 350z, to my left was a 911, in front of him was a G35 coupe, to the left of the 911 was a CooperS (with Union Jack on the roof!), and in front of him was a BMW6 (right off the lot!)...what a great time we live in for excellent looking and driving cars! Enjoy!
  • mkollmkoll Posts: 21
    My RX8 is great....period. The automatic has plenty of power, 19mpg is ok, never had a car get so many stares. It doesn't matter what they are driving, they are checking out the 8.
    Better than a woman? Hmmm....need to ponder that one. But, my 8 definitely is a female. The chrome rotary accents are hard to miss. Besides, things of beauty, grace, and speed are generally refered to in the feminine gender. The RX8 definitely fits all three categories.

    There's my peace,here's my query. I've managed to put a couple small scratches in the plastic face of the glove box and the steering wheel cover. Since I beat myself up pretty bad over things like this, do you have any suggestions as to how one might repair or hide the marks? The plastic covers on the door thresholds get a lot of scuff marks also.

    Any input would be appreciated.
  • ivan_99ivan_99 Posts: 1,669
    I think the coupe designation is determined by the rear seat room (measurements), not the number of doors.

    So you could have a 4 door coupe and a 2 door sedan...doesn't seem right to me either...
  • cheezeboycheezeboy Posts: 218
    mkoll - the best people here to ask are GGUY and PathStar when it comes to things like that....they have a depth of car knowledge unsurpassed in these forums!! :-)

    but ya gotta be carefull....when I had dogs with my old car, I always had to take special care of the plastics and even then, the puppies managed to scratch stuff up a bit....but, i guess that's why it's plastic and not, say, gold!!!
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    Unfortunatly, most plastic interiour pieces have a textured finish. It's really hard to take scratches out of that. Smooth finishes are easy, just use plastic polish. You can find a solvent that dissolves the textured plastic (try different ones where you can't see the results day to day). What you can try is use a rounded knife to carve out the scratch (scraping sideways), then add texture back, then use the solvent to blend the area. I suspect it wouldn't work too well, though. Replacing the parts is the best solution.

    On my 1993 RX-7 dash (painted plastic with the paint peeling), I glued suede leather on top of the dash. It looks very nice. This also allows you to "pad" the parts, using polyethylene foam (ethefoam). Just glue the padding on, then fit and glue the leather. I use contact cement (latex type - water based).
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,116
    Road & Track had a nice write-up on their longterm RX8 this month.

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  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 7,275
    Yes, the Corvette can be had in roadster guise. I can also be had as a coupe, too.

    I'm anxiously awaiting seeing the first '05 on the road.
  • I'm in the market for a new car for my fiance. The RX8 automatic is on the list.

    I've been reading a lot on these boards about the oil consumption, mediocre to bad gas mileage, flooding if you shut off cold, etc...

    The oil consumption and flooding is a little bit of a concern. I'm not that concerned about bad gas mileage since we drive pretty short distances. I'm worried if the RX8 is a little too high maintenance.

    I want to get her a nice car in this price range that is relatively easy to own. Is the RX8 easy to own?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,116
    Well I'd just like to interject here that if she's not the type of raise the hood and check the oil every couple tankfuls of gas, this is not the car for her. This would hold true for man or woman BTW. The Road & Track longterm RX8 required periodic top-off of the oil and you can see where I'm going with this.

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  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    We don't see the oil getting below the min. mark between changes. It gets close, but if properly filled during the oil change it will not require adding oil until the next change. YMMV
  • cheezeboycheezeboy Posts: 218
    as one of the forums AT owners, I can say that it's a great car to have and if you/fiance can check the oil once a month (and that's just checking! - only fill as needed!), you will be fine! I tend to go through a bit more oil than usual, due to my compulsion to try to hit 140mph!.....but normal driving should yield normal oil usage. Have you/fiance test driven one yet? That might be more important at this point. Checking your oil is much easier when you like the car you are driving! :-)
  • Thanks for the feedback everyone. Actually, checking the oil once a month is normal for me anyways. I have a < 1 year old Mazda6 and baby the heck out of it.

    I guess I was just more concerned about weird rotary quirks. I've never had a rotary before so I just don't know much about maintaining one.

    There was some post in the "owner's problems & solutions" board where a rotary veteran was saying how a lot of the problems new rotary owners are having is due to the lack of knowledge about owning and maintaining a rotary.

    Some of the things he listed were if you drove it too low in the RPMs you might damage the engine longterm. He recommended driving it between 4K and 6K. We live in San Francisco, and there's a lot of put'in around here. Sometimes I go a whole day w/o driving past 30 mph. And if it's an AT it's a little harder to control the gear it's in.

    So checking the oil is np, it's just these seemingly weird rotary rules I'm not aware of yet. I just don't want the car to die early cuz we didn't rev it high enough or some other weird rotary specific thing.

    I just want a reliable car that we can maintain more/less like a regular car.

    At one point we were thinking of a base Acura RSX w/leather. But the base Rx8 AT is only about $1500 more. The RX8 just looks way nicer than the Acura RSX which to me is just a fast Civic.
  • jrosasmcjrosasmc Posts: 1,704
    Is it true that even on the RX-8, if you start it up, drive it about 500 feet, and then park it, you can't start it again until after a certain period of time? Is that a problem with all the rotaries?
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    Well, there are some minor differences with the rotary engine vs a piston engine.

    First, it's much smoother and quieter. So much so you may not realize how fast it's turning.

    Second, you don't want to starve the engine of oil or overheat it. So you just check the oil level once in a while and make sure you don't block the rad. or run it after loosing the coolant. Any aluminum engine is sensitive to overheating - parts will warp and then not seal.

    The engine does inject oil from the crankcase into the intake stream (to lubricate the "apex" seals - similar to the piston rings). This is no different than the oil that is lost in a piston engine that lubricates the rings. In fact, most piston engines are down a quart (litre) at oil change time. The rotary is just down a little more (maybe 1.5). They put in a large oil pan to allow for this.

    As for starting it up and shutting it down after moving the car a few feet (to wash for example), you can still restart it immediatly, but if you don't warm it up before shutting it off you run the risk of entering a "zone of operation" that makes the engine prone to flood. The apex seals don't work very well below about 1500 RPM, so when you are starting the engine or it's idling it isn't very efficient at "blowing out" any unburned fuel. If it builds up enough it will coat the plugs and you can flood the engine. This is rare when it's warm, but not uncommon when the engine is cold. Any liquid fuel in the chambers makes the problem worse, as it dillutes the small amount of oil there that helps seal the chambers (fuel will pass right under the apex and side seals taking away the film of oil and allowing gasses to pass with low resistance).

    I warm up the engine in less than 5 min. by running it at 2000-3000 RPM (let it idle for a few seconds before doing this so oil pressure will build up).

    It's something that should be done for any engine (warming it up before shutting it off), it's just a little more important with a rotary. You soon get used to doing it and it becomes second nature.

    Other than that, it's just an engine. Expect it to last 200,000 mi. or so if cared for (the second gen normally aspirated -non-turbo- RX-7s are now passing that mileage).
  • jrosasmcjrosasmc Posts: 1,704
    Yeah but I've heard many stories about the engines in the third-gen RX-7 twin-turbos. Now that's a highly stressed motor if I ever saw one!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,116
    Yeah, but those were detonation problems. Also it was a real supercar put in the hands of some people who really didn't need supercars. It's still a blazingly fast car but you'd better stay on top of it. I think the RX8 is much more tractable and forgiving.

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  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    Well, yes the 3rd gen RX-7 was another story. I was afraid of the accellerator pedal for the first few months I owned it. It goes like a motorcycle but is as wide as a car!

    Problems it had were mainly due to the complex twin turbo system that very few understood. Dealers never got it. If there was a failure in that system, chances were you could damage the engine. The RX-8 doesn't have this problem!

    Many owners couldn't handle the car - the young were too reckless (it was very unforgiving of recklessness), some of the older owners may have been too slow reaction time wise. The RX-8 doesn't have quite as much accelleration so is much easier to manage for the non-racer!

    Most engine destruction events occured when the owners tried to modify the car - they overboosted and detonation would take out the apex seals - and often the seal pieces would take out the turbos as they were expelled through the exhaust! The RX-8 has an excellant detonation prevention system, so even if you modify the car it will protect itself!

    The car is fast enough many got in too deep - no experience at those speeds. It was/is really a thinly disguised race car. The RX-8 is fast enough (speedwise) that some have had this problem, but because it can't reach high speeds as fast it isn't as big a problem.

    I strongly suggest any who like to "drive crazy" sign up for a racing school. It's a lot of fun, and is safer than doing it on the street. It will do wonders for your driving record in the long run, not to mention your survival lifetime, whether you drive an RX-7 or an RX-8.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,475
    i've also read that many folks screwed up their RX7s by using synthetic oil.

    i always lusted after one of those since they were first introduced here (which is why i really wanted an RX8, too). I certainly couldn't afford them at that time, and all of these issues caused by owners we are talking about is what prevented me from ever buying a used one all these years. oh well, just another great car i'll never own.

    '13 Stang GT; '15 Fit; '98 Volvo S70; '14 Town&Country

  • jrosasmcjrosasmc Posts: 1,704
    You can't use synthetic oil in rotaries?
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