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Mazda RX-8

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  • audia8qaudia8q Posts: 3,138
    Don't forget that 1/2 of the country sees snow....during the snow months sports car sales generally are terrible. We sell 80% of our sports cars and convertibles during a 5 month period. That leaves alot of unsold inventory sitting around if the inventory isnt managed well..
  • lhesslhess Posts: 379
    that the cars in the RX8 price range are the hardest to sell. You can always find wealthy people looking for a $50K+ vehicle to buy and there will always be sales for the $20K and below cars for folks who are thrifty car shoppers. He said that $25K to $40K are the toughest cars to move? Too costly for a lot of folks and too cheap for others. Even middle income folks who make the money to afford them are usually into the big mortgages, the cost of raising kids, college... It seems to make good sense to me.
  • trispectrispec Posts: 305
    My take is that the "Average American" is a sheep in wolves clothing at best when it comes to buying cars. And the RX-8 has a reputation (that rotary engine car) which mostly scares folks away. So the RX-8 comes out when the whole market is really a bunch of scared sheep. Who cares. Sheep are idiots and I love running them down cause most times, they are just standing there being stupid.

    Now I confess, I tried hard to be a sheep. For fifteen years I bought American made, Chrysler, Ford and GM. But when the RX-8 came back to life in a FOUR FREAK'N SEATER! I began to dream of becoming a wolf again (my RX-7 called out to my soul from 1987). Then suddenly, my heart pounding, blood rushing, the deal cut, there are sheep to run down and devoured once more, for I am a wolf again. BEWARE Average American.

    The young folks do get the difference; they know they can become wolves rather than sheep. Today, coming to working down Huntington Ave in Boston, past the Mass. School of Art, a young guy leaned out over the road as he saw us coming fast. The student, risking his life in my path, twirled his fists rotary fashion. I paddled shifted to first popping 7000 on the twins letting them howl just as I pasted his position. I laughed as I in glance rear to see him pumping his fist Tiger Woods style, cause I had made his day, his wolves blood flowing, at the high howl of twin rotors running free....
  • trispectrispec Posts: 305
    A quick Google of "car price trends" the first hit is

    http://www.edmunds.com/help/about/press/103766/article.html

    and has this for 2004: November 22, 2004

    "Last month, the sales-weighted average new vehicle sticker price was $30,371, $268 higher than in September 2004 and $704 higher than in October 2003. The sales-weighted average net price was $25,750, $933 higher than in September 2004 and $518 higher than in October 2003."

    On a historical note, the Model T's stunning break through had everything to do with getting the Average American to buy what had been up to that time, the most unimaginable luxury of all, an automobile. Most American's simply believed cars, not that much more expensive, than the Model T were only for the rich. Ford's trick was to convince his own workers through outrageous standards of pay for that time, to buy their own goods. What really took over after that was the pure consumer lust by tens of thousands of middle managers in Banking and Retail industries who were pissed off that Ford factory works could buy cars.

    There were much better cars than the Model T at the time, but the consumer mass opinion snubbed those other cars as to expensive. So then Ford's mass appeal largely killed the custom car business. Of course, Ford didn't do much innovation at first and that lack of innovation nearly killed the company just a few years later, which had fallen behind other companies that made innovative and economically appealing products.

    Jumping to the current market, the RX-8 rotary engine is a bit to innovative for the Average American, a four seater sports car simply can't be believed or practical, and the gas millage numbers put up by the insanely complex hybrid cars and SUVs have completely blinded folks to the math of gas vs car price. (A 100% increase in the price of gas over 4-5 years is way less than financing the extra 20% price increase in a hybrid car over 4-5 years.)

    If the beauty of the Renesis rotary engine design, the wow of the RX-8 classic body, and the pure fun of driving that high rev engine through tight turns with your whole family in the car too, doesn't do the trick for ya, then you've got bucks to burn or you'd best be checking yourself for a pulse.

    Bring on the Hydrogen Renesis RX-8 and maybe the mass appeal numbers will kick in.
  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 7,275
    Glad to see the RX8 owners are alive and well.

    Having owned one of the first RX8s to hit these shores (and subsequently having it demolished by a RAM), it's good to see people still discussing this innovative car.

    This past weekend, I saw an ad in the local newspaper stating "$7K off" any RX8. Curious, I wanted to see what others were expereincing and why the drop in prices.

    Yes, the RX8 is a quirky little number. It can handle with the best of cars out there (short of the exotics). Yes, you can fit 4 people in it.

    I think the competition has raised the bar over the past couple of years. While the closest competitor, the 350Z, has raised HP and interior quality, Mazda really hasn't made any significant updates to the RX8. First, the HP fiasco came out when it was first released. While this didn't bother me as much, a lot was made of it (and I eventually took the $500 plus free maintenance deal Mazda offered).

    Then the whole issue of "flooding" came to light. Again, this wasn't an issue for me, but Mazda really does need to put stronger batteries in the car.

    Most who came into the "rotary head" world hadn't owned a rotary before. They weren't used to having to (horrors!!!!) check the oil. I've always believed it to be just good car maintenance procedure to check the oil every 2nd or 3rd fillup. But, engines have become so maintenance free (at least piston engines), that people didn't think it was something they needed to do.

    There was a general perception that a 1.3L engine should get good MPG. Mazda didn't do themselves any favors by stating that the RX8 pre-production models would get 30 MPG as well as have 250 HP. As we know, none of that happened. It's still a mystery (at least it is to me) why Mazda had to "detune" the RENESIS because of cat converter longevity....before they even sold any here.

    Add to that, there was the A/C issue....that is, it wasn't very strong. Plus, some heat disapaited into the cabin from the drivetrain tunnel. That didn't help matters.

    Now that I'm on the outside looking in, I believe all of the above conspired to make people shy away from the RX8.

    My ownership experience was exemplary. Mazda took care of any concerns I had (although it was a bit frustrating to keep taking the car back to the dealership to reflash the ECU all the time and to "fix" A/C issues, oil pan issues, etc).

    All that said, if a potential owner knows of all the above, and adjusts their thinking a bit, they'll be rewarded with a car that handles, rides among the best in the sports car world. It's a quick car (although, I wouldn't consider it truly "fast").

    I don't know what Mazda's plans are for the RX8. If there is to be a 2nd gen RX8, Mazda has to first, exorcise it from the bugaboos mentioned (nothing they can do about oil consumption given the rotary's inherent design). They need to boost HP either by super/turbo charging, or by adding rotors. The 350Z has upped the ante to 300HP. The RX8 doesn't have to hit that number (since it's lighter), but they do have to show some improvements over where they are today.

    All-in-all, the RX8 is still a unique car with unique capabilities.
  • lhesslhess Posts: 379
    I liked the looks of the rx8 when it was a concept car and then it became a reality and I wanted one. Held off from buying because I had just made a car purchase, but started reading up on the car. Owners were doing all this complaining about the car - oil consumption (that's really a bad thing), flooding, and on and on. Wrote the car off for a while. But I had a Mitsu and every time I took it in to my dealer for whatever, I looked those 8's over very good (Mitsu/Mazda dealer) and still really liked it. So, I started asking the salesmen and the service guys about all the "bad" things.

    They assured me that oil consumption was normal and that the flooding problem was better with updates to the car and not that bad when you know how to handle it. So, March 2005, I bought one. I knew alot about the car before I bought it and have had no surprises. However, had I been one of the ones to grab one when they became available, I may have very well been unhappy with the "quirks" of the car.

    I know this is too long already but a really funny story... my salesman told me that when the cars first arrived on the lot, they wanted the "perfect" spot for them on the lot. So, they move them all to one area on the lot and shut them off. Then, folks start arriving to drive them and almost none of them would start. They had no idea they would flood like they did. The service guys gave them a lesson on proper warm-up and got them all running!! I can just imagine all these guys standing around "How the heck are we gonna sell these things, they won't even start!!"
  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 7,275
    Styling is what gets people into the showroom and on a test drive. The 9K RPM and the "indy car" sound the RENESIS makes usually seals the deal. Throw in the high handling capabilities, and the RX8 makes for a compelling sports car.

    Most (like you) who do some research, and know what to expect, are usually pleased with the car.

    But (there's always one of those), having been able to stand back and take a look at the sports car entries over the last couple of years, shows how far some of the RX8's competition has come. I mentioned the 350Z. While I wouldn't trade the RX8's combination of "ride vs handling" for the Z's, 300HP makes up for a lot of "cost cutting" that Nissan had to do with the interior and suspension.

    Expanding the RX8's competitors....you can look at the WRX (getting a bit long in the tooth), Mitsu EVO (really "cut rate" materials and performance geared to the fast & furious crowd)...even the Mustang GT (my current ride) and the Pontiac GTO (slow sales that doesn't look to have much of a future) and it becomes clear that a new dawn of HP "wars" has begun. Even with $3/gal gas, HP seems to be regaining significance in the performance car world.

    When I bought my RX8, I paid $30K for it.....and was lucky to get that deal. Now, even with major deals to be had with the RX8, it's clear that Mazda has to do something to revive sales. I don't know if there will be any major changes to the '06 models. There was a rumor a year or so ago that there might be a reborn RX7 (with 300 HP) or a redone RX8 (again with 300 HP). Don't know if that rumor ever panned out.

    I don't know if Mazda ever got the "flooding issue" sorted out for '05 models, either.

    You obviously know what you've got with your RX8. That goes a long way towards adding to the enjoyment of a very unique car. My biggest frustration when talking to others here and elsewhere were the complaints about flooding, oil useage, and MPG. A little reseach would have gone a long way in setting correct expectations by those folks.

    Mazda can and should do more to address those same issues, however. With all the ECU reflashes, it sounds like they were taking more of a "band-aid" approach to those complaints rather than to come up with a permanent fix.

    Still, I miss my RX8. After mine was totalled, I toyed with the idea of getting another one. But, as they say, that ship has sailed.
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    The 2006 automatic will be a 6 speed, keeping the paddle shifters. It will also have more HP, but we're not sure yet if this is due to tuning the "low power" 4 port or using the "high power" 6 port engine the manual has. I'm a manual trans. fanatic, but this is tempting!
    No word yet on changes to the manual trans. model.

    The reflashes have now settled down. They have pretty much got the air/fuel where they want it. Changes now are mainly operational. Remember, this car is one of the most integrated electronic cars on the market - so they can change braking, steering, etc. with PCM reflashes. I still have trouble believing this, when I look at how simple the PCM is (physically - I get to study it from time to time).

    One exciting developement - there is now a prototype 2 door being shown in auto shows. Is this the next RX-7 in development? A direct injection Rotary, and a hybrid!
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    Really. It's like expecting a IS300 to beat a M3 - it's not designed to be a 3-series destroyer anymore than the RX-8 is designed to blow the doors off of the 350Z.

    It's made to be a family-friendly, commuter and city-traffic happy sportscar for the normal person. The Z - tried it - it's a terrible car - it reminds me of old 1960s musclecars - all that power in a straight line and punishment while dong it. There is no smoothness, no easing itself around twisties. It's a totally different car, just like how a Boxter is compared to a S2000. One's refined and useable and the other is more of an enthusiast's car. Both are good cars, mind you, but the RX-8 pulls off the same trick the Boxter has for roadsters - it's great all-around and just enough for the average buyer to handle without beating themselves up or getting into trouble.

    It's fine as it is. For $27K, plus rebates once the 2006s come out - I defy you to find a better sportscar for the price.
  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 7,275
    Thanks, pathstar....as always, you continue to be a wealth of information.

    I do agree....the the ECU, PCM, etc is one of the most integrated I've seen on any car. I'm sure that being a tuner/tester, that having such an integrated computer does frustrate you from time to time, though.

    I'd be interested in hearing even rumors regarding the manual transmission model changes.

    I didn't put much stock in the hydrogen RX8 being thrown about several months ago. I know something like that isn't even remotely on the production horizon. But, direct injection and a hybrid model would get my attention.

    Matter of fact, a hybrid would seem to me to be very doable. Plus, it would be a way to "kick up" performance and fuel economy at the same time. I can't even begin th imagine the complexity of the computer control over a hybrid RENESIS, though. That begs several questions.

    --if the fuel/air mixture reflashes have truly been "optimized" to keep the flooding in check, how would the starting/stopping of the RENESIS be handled in a hybrid type system?
    --would it be a true hybrid?

    Any news on the convertible front?

    While a reborn RX7 is intrguing, what could it possibly offer over the RX8? The RX8 already had coupe styling (just with 2 extra doors)? Bigger/more rotors? Turbo/supercharging?
  • dwynnedwynne Posts: 4,018
    Just curious. Does anyone know what the average monthly sales are for the RX-8 ?
    Nissan sells ( on average ) about 2000 350 Z's / month. I realize that these two vehicles don't compete with each other directly but they are both what I consider to be niche vehicles. Is there a Mazda website for sales figures ??


    Mazda could only WISH for z numbers. In numbers sold the Z blows the 8 into the weeds and if you add the G35 coupe and the Z it becomes a REAL spanking :)

    Heck, the low-volume "halo car" S2000 has now out-sold the RX-8 for the year so far! The S2000 sales were spurred by a discounted lease program - but Mazda had a discounted lease program going as well.

    Too bad Ford does not break out the Mustang by GT and v-6, since I would be curious as to how the v-8 GT did.

    When folks go to plunk down $30k or more for a sports car they have lots of choices, and I much as I love the looks and driving dynamics of my RX-8 I can see why sales are slow: TERRIBLE mileage, flooding problem, rotary "differences", Mazda dealer network, first year problems and recalls, etc. But I think the biggest thing is just the other choices - you can get a v-8 Mustang that gets better mileage (on regular), is faster/quicker, and handles decent (score one for the RX-8!) for the same or less money. You DO see tons of them on the road (score another for the RX-8).

    Here are the numbers for September 2005.

    Model 9/2005 9/2004 change YTD 05 YTD 04 change
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- - ---------
    RX-8 1,148 651 76% 5,929 7,525 -21%
    350Z 1,963 2,158 -9.0% 21,325 23,939 -10.5%
    G35 Cpe 1,993 2,188 -8.9% 20,283 22,084 -7.8%
    S2000 659 482 36.7% 6,533 5,835 12.5%
    Mustang 10,976 6,333 73.3% 128,485 94,468 36.0%

    EDIT: I think the RX-8 sales numbers are WRONG. As of July 2005 Mazda was reporting 9,498 RX-8s sold, so unless they gave a LOT of folks their money back they listed the numbers wrong. I think those are MIATA numbers. The RX-8 numbers may be:

    "RX-8" 949 1,827 -48% 11,592 19,226 -40%

    They crossed up the Miata and RX-8 sales numbers, it appears.

    FYI, I account for 1 each in the YTD 2005 totals for the RX-8 and the S2000 :shades:

    Dennis
  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 7,275
    Sales numbers for the '05 Mustang GT were roughly 32% of total Mustang volume of 190,000 units. That means Ford sold about 61,000 '05 Mustang GTs. '06s are just hitting the streets over the past few weeks, so no numbers are available.

    I wouldn't slam the RX8 so much, however. Don't know what the 350Z numbers have been, but it's clear their are a lot more of them on dealer's lots than there was a couple of years ago. I'll assume their numbers have drifted downward, too.

    The S2000 is a "niche" vehicle much like the RX8.

    Having lived with both the Mustang GT and the RX8, the Mustang isn't real finicky. You fire it up and go. And, it does go like a bat out of hell.

    And yes, I do get better MPG on regular gas with the Mustang than I did with the RX8 burining premium (about 17-18 MPG in town and about 23-24 MPG on the highway).

    It can't match the handling finesse of the RX8, but is a lot faster and dare I say, just as comfy. But, my guess is, you'd be able to buy an rX8 for less money than a Mustang GT right now. There isn't any Ford $$ support on the GT. Nor, is there much discounting from MSRP on them, either.

    They really are two different cars. The GT makes wonderful V8 muscle car noises and has the performance to back it up. The RX8 is a scalpel to carve up roads. Id say that Ford has learned a thing or two about "tightening" up the Mustang from Mazda, to boot.

    It's not all about straight line acceleration, though. As we debated ad infinitum with the GTO crowd (which in '04 guise was a tad slower than the Mustang GT and the '05 GTO a tad faster), the entire package has to be taken into account. Ford keeps selling and cranking out Mustang GTs at a breakneck pace, while GM isn't even sure there will be much of a future for the GTO since it's been such a disappointment.

    If the MAzda team did indeed get the "buggaboos" sorted out with the RX8, it's sales will only be helped by upping it's performance. The rest of the package (styling, braking, steering, shifting, ride, etc) is just fine.
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    There isn't any info. on the car (I named it incorrectly - it's a "concept car" at this stage). I don't subscribe to the argument that some "hybrids" are or are not "true" hybrids. That's an elitist concept. If it can run on electricity or gas, then it's a hybrid in my books.

    Actually, the hybrid renesis wouldn't have a flooding problem. The electric motor that drives the car in a hybrid is used to "start" the gasoline (or diesel) engine by just using an electric "clutch" between them. So the rotary would be "started" at over 2000 RPM - which equates to near perfect combustion chamber sealing. Remember, the main reason the RX-8 floods is at 250 RPM (starting speed) the seals perform poorly, meaning they can't eject unburnt or unvaporized fuel from the chambers - it builds up and results in flooding once it soaks the plugs.

    One little known fact is the current engine has plugs installed on "ports" that could be used to inject oil into the combustion chambers to allow a quick recovery from flooding. We have been considering using these to allow starting when at -30 deg. (the car is very suseptable to flooding when it gets that cold - even with the new programming). We have only flooded ours once when it was that cold, and even when boosted by a tow truck it wouldn't start. It had to be towed into a warm garage before it could be re-started. If you've never lived in a climate such as ours (Edmonton Alberta Canada) you can't imagine how "uncomfortable" it is trying to get a vehicle started at these temps., ankle deep in snow, frost on all surfaces. Even we say "YUCK"! ;) A little digression just so everyone understands why some people will put up with hurricanes. :)

    I'm not sure the current chassis design could be made into a convertible, as there are "tubes" made up in the body (particularly around the side doors - both top and bottom) that are required to give the car it's rigidity. If you cut the top tube the car would severely distort. There is always an engineering solution of course, but could they sell enough to make it practical to produce?

    What the RX-7 offers over the RX-8 is pure uncompromized performance. It is hard to drive (because many of us can't handle the performance), it is uncomfortable (rough ride), and impractical (seats only two - very little cargo space). BUT, it goes from 0-60 in under 5 sec., will go faster than any public highway will tolerate, and is SEXY! And that is why it's replacement is wanted by current owners. I like the RX-8. It handles at least as well as my RX-7, but if you ever get a chance to ride in a 3rd gen RX-7, you'll understand just how much "performance" the RX-8 is missing. We want that with the RX-8 handling and braking. That is what we expect if a new RX-7 is brought to market.
  • astralastral Posts: 41
    if your light is on every morning, then your tires are LOW! inflate them to the proper temperature in the morning! you're driving on low pressure, you're sacrificing gas mileage and wearing your tires more aggressively and less normally (+ sacrificing handling as well).

    tire pressure goes up while driving (normal), and that's why your lights go out when you start driving. the warm tire pressures are typically 4-6psi higher.

    afaik, the light goes on if the pressure falls below 26psi... that's way too low. inflate your tires to 32psi (i think that's the recommended pressure) in the morning, so it's cold temperature. don't inflate your tires after driving.. let the tires cool down for 4 or more hours.
  • trispectrispec Posts: 305
    Owned an RX-7 in 1987 and a Mustang 5.0 in 1991. All I can tell you is that only RX-7 called out to my soul over the years, even though the Mustang 5.0 killed the RX-7 in most every way except twisties. Driving, no COMMUNING with the RX-7, rotary revving, sweet design, nimble intelligent road manners just held a sacred place in my head. My Mustang 5.0 was just junk. Driving the 5.0 was nothing but work and the seats and suspension were the most uncomfortable I've ever owned.

    Today, I feel the same way. My RX-8 makes me feel fantastic just sliding into the seats. I feel intelligent and stone cold cool starting her up pulling out on the road, twin rotors howling.

    Before I even drove the RX-8 I gave another glance at the new Mustang. I did the full dealer treatment, test drive, good look at the options, look at the GT, and thinking about the rag top. In the end, the feelings I had for the new Mustang were the same as years back. Nicer in many ways, but the same in all the basics areas.

    It would have been easier to buy a Mustang but the RX-8 just grabs me deep in my soul.
  • lhesslhess Posts: 379
    I realize I have at least one tire low when the light comes on. The problem I have with the system is not telling you which one is low. I understand the dynamics of air warming and expanding, tire wear.... I just don't like running around my car trying to find the "winning" tire 2 or 3 mornings per week!!
  • lhesslhess Posts: 379
    Mustangs sell well and they sell on raw horsepower and the legacy behind it. Most people that buy the Mustang are buying it because it is THE American sports car. Even though the Corvette fills that bill as well, the Vette appeals to the folks who are a little more refined. Not to step on any toes here, but the Mustang is the ultimate "Redneck" sports car in WV. Every coal minin', gun-totin', [non-permissible content removed]-huntin', baccer-spittin', red blooded backwoods boy has a Mustang GT in the driveway. And, by God, they don't drive no [non-permissible content removed] car!! Mazda, Mitsubishi, Honda, Toyota... or any other of these makers will ever build a sports car to appeal to them!!
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    I liked the suggestion made in this site a while ago - on the way home inflate your tires to 35 PSI or so. Then next morning, let the air out until they are all at the correct pressure before you start driving. Do this once a month and you shouldn't ever see that light on.

    It makes good sense for all of us with all our vehicles. Tires do loose air over time. Driving without enough air is bad for mileage, the tires, and safety.
  • thelthel Posts: 767
    still has 3...yep 3...leftover 2004 RX-8's. They're all black and have MSRP's of 31,500 to 32,xxx. The "cheap" one has been advertised in the paper on Sunday's for months at about $7000 of MSRP but no takers.

    I'm sorely tempted, but I just can't see myself dumping my old 4WD truck to get one. Especially with winter approaching.
  • astralastral Posts: 41
    lhess,

    It should only take one morning. Tires don't lose pressure that fast. Just try checking all four tires the next morning, and inflate the one that's low.

    So you wouldn't be running around 2 or 3 mornings per week... you'd just do it once and if you make sure that all your tires are 32psi cold (in the morning), then you should be set for months.
  • astralastral Posts: 41
    The really loaded RX-8s didn't sell very well... pretty much almost all the 2004 left-overs are in the 32K MSRP range.

    Also forget about 7000 off MSRP... I'd calculate invoice and see how much under invoice you're getting it.
  • audia8qaudia8q Posts: 3,138
    In the Northeast region the Grand Touring was the best selling model...but if the car had navigation, it didnt sell well. Navigation is one of those options everyone talks about as a "must have" but few really pony up the jing for it.
  • dwynnedwynne Posts: 4,018
    The trouble is that Mazda gave the dealers their "final" discount on the 04s months ago so to go any lower and they lose money on the sale. I found I could get the car just like I wanted as an 05 and take advantage of $2,000 in Mazda rebates and a $500 Gerber rebate and come out pretty close to what an 04 what have cost me (for $4,000-4,500 under invoice). I paid around $500 under invoice - $2,500 in rebates and did the cheap lease deal too. I am happy, and to be honest the 04 cars seem to be a lot more problematic - the later the build date the fewer problems seem to be having. The lease deal is sweet - that way I don't have to fret about the terrible RX-8 resale value. At lease end I can buy it for the residual, maybe negotiate a lower price (very likely), or just walk away. I love my 8, but how will I feel about it down the road?

    Dennis
  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 7,275
    pathstar....I did drive a 3rd gen RX7. It was hellaciously fast. But, as you say, it road like a brick. I think it probably handled about as well (maybe better) than the RX8. I don't think anyone is going to "dis" an RX7 or RX8 for the way it handles. My point is, the competition is moving....mostly to higher HP. I would think that for Mazda to keep pace with those they compete against, they need to do the same.

    lhess.....no doubt in my mind that the Mustang GT is considered a redneck greyhound. I personally can attest to the fact that my earliest memories of "performance" cars were those yesteryear Mustangs my older sister's boyfriends would pick her up in.

    Refinement isn't in the Mustang vocabulary. It's pure, unadultrated muscle. and, it makes no excuses for it. I'm getting ready to put mine up for the winter. I'll miss driving it....just like I miss driving my departed RX8. They are two very good cars, that go about performance in very, very different ways. I like both, but for very different reasons.

    Whereas the RX8 is a model of refinement...even against some other speed demons like the WRX and the EVO (which IMHO, define unrefined). That's a tough line to tread. If you're too refined, the perfromance edge is blunted. On the other hand, if you aren't refined enough, you end up with "boy racers" that have little in the way of daily driver qualities.

    The performance field is being diced up ever so finely. The 350Z is moving more upscale while adding HP. The EVOs and WRXs aren't getting any slower (but still unrefined). GTO is going away, but it never did make much of a dent over the last couple of years. Toyota was never really in the game with the Celica. And, until recently, had nothing to offer with the exception of the Scion tC. Honda had all but left their performance to the tuner set (new Civic may change that).....NSX is going away (may come back)....prelude is long gone....

    Mazda has a great opportunity to go to the head of the class for a world class sports car. I hope they take advantage of it soon.
  • thelthel Posts: 767
    2 of the 3 leftover GT's have the nav system.

    The one for $31,500 doesn't, but it does have the nifty black and red leather interior. Apparantly, this one was backed into while on the lot, but I doubt that the dealer is willing to bakc off on thier price much, even in the face of the body repair.
  • trispectrispec Posts: 305
    Them's fight'n words yall knows, birthed as I was down south '58. Went to high school in China Grove, N.C. where half the school worked in the local mills after school to pay for their "Red Neck" hot rods. Only twenty percent of my class even tried College. I drove a school bus at the age 17 packed with 75 elementary school kids, large groups of which I personally dropped off at large trailer parks all over Rowan County NC. I know everything "Red Neck" that there is to know.

    Stock Car racing, the largest participation sport in the South, dwarfing all other professional sports combined, drives huge portions of the automobile industry. Year after year American sports car sells track to whatever car recieved the most pace car laps at the thousands of NASCAR races each year. Ford, Chrysler, and GM dealerships down south to this day need only count the laps of the various pace cars to know what sports cars to stock on their lots.

    Agree with you I do that foreign sports cars are different oranges, but it's not so much "Red Necks" making an actually decision about any particular car, as it's the car dealerships respond to stock car racing's massive cultural marketing engine which continues to be unstoppable through out the South.

    Imagine everyone you go to church with, you go to school with and you go to work with, also goes to the local NASCAR race track. Do you think you COULD by a foreign car? Come on, your whole life would break.

    BTW, I know a retired Maine Lawyor, Ex-Marine, RNA member, former tobacca addict, who owns a nice chunk of backwoods Maine, who wouldn't be caught dead in any American Sports cars. He's owned early Mazda Rotaries, Mazda Miatas, and Mazda trucks.
  • Your right -there is really no comparison-The Mustang and Rx8, compared against each other, is apples and oranges. I know I bought my Rx8 for its looks and handling-first/ and for its performance-second. I did not want a car that looked like everybody else's car. I am not knocking the Mustang--It is VERY fast and has great low end torque--but the 8-for me-has a classier/more exotic look. Its funny--I live along the lake in Chicago--but--every now and then--when I venture to the burbs--thats when I get the 25 year old punk in the modified 1994 Eclipse, or a guy in a brand-spankin new Mustang GT that want to race. I'm in my early -mid thirties--so I do not feel the "need" to race as much as I did 10 years ago--but I often do oblige the young gear heads. Just last week-I went against a guy going through his "second" mid life crisis. He was 50+ years old -revving around in a Mustang with a young brunette half his age (his daughter?-no way!)---and he blew by me --even as I was chirping my tires while shifting into second gear. First gear--I hit 40 mph, he is ahead by about 7 ft, second gear-I am at 68 christ--I know I hit 60mph in less than 6.5 seconds-but that Mustang was a good 10-15 ft in front of me. Once our road turned to curves and twisties--i was able to make up some ground--but when the road straightened out-he pulled away like I was standing still. He teased me by letting me pass him at about 110--but he roared right back and flew past me as I was hitting 130+. I have driven stick my whole life--almost 18 years, and I know how to maximize speed/torque with my clutch-but this race was no contest. Did I whine and suck my thumb??--No. I still love my 8, and I would never trade it in for a Mustang. But -wow-his car was fast. If Mazda can work out its kinks in the 8's engine--and add a bit more torque in the low rpms and add about about 50 more horsepower--I'll buy the Rx8 again when my lease is done. I could care less if 4 people bought Mazda rx8's in the last year-I enjoy it. I enjoy it unless I have to race race a new Mustang again!. Geez--I hated getting spanked in a race--but i still love my 8. Rev on... Enjoy your oranges!
  • trispectrispec Posts: 305
    Thanks, but on Boston's roads, I'll put up my RX-8 against any 'Stang. Especially in the fall, winter and spring when wet slick roads are the usual case. The 'Stangs fixed rear axle, even with LSD & TC, will become useless long before my much better balanced RX-8's intelligent suspension. I'll give'm the straight a ways all day long (there ain't many here), but 'Stangs are going to need to be to breaking the speed limit for way to long for me not to catch up to in this city which is chocked full of ancient cow path roads. And in the hundreds of Boston traffic rotaries 'Stang drivers turn into grandmas where I whip around them like a LeMans racer.

    Also, 'Stang owners best employee a stable of chiropractors, cause the pot holes and frost heaves are going to violently whack the hell out of that rear axle. 'Stangers may even need hip replacement years early as their hips get banged into the hard sides of those crappy seats.

    Oh yes, and our wonderful Mayor Minino, most popular Mayor in Boston's history they say, allows neighborhood groups to place moNSTer 6' wide speed bumps in all of those straight shot alleys they call "Thru Streets". The weight of 'Stangs engine block 6 & 8 cylinder is going to drive those front shocks through the frame for any speed over 20mph. My RX-8 zips over them like an elf at 50mph. Sorry Mr. Mayor.
  • lhesslhess Posts: 379
    My entire family is a bunch of red necks (I might be considered borderline at times). They're not sports car men, though, big, smoking diesel trucks - big ones!! I never said I didn't love 'em!! And, I love the mustang - It can be an 80's model and it still catches my eye. I just think there is a very small number of folks that line up the Mustang and the RX8 and debate over which one they want to buy. They are both wonderful cars - they're just wonderful for different reasons!!

    I would think that the closest foreign competitor to the Stang would be the 350Z. Especially since they've ponied it up a little with the extra hp's. The mustang is an AMERICAN icon. Heck, I have to park my "foreigner" at the end of the driveway when I go visit the family (haha).

    To reiterate - I do not slam the Mustang, ever, I love it, and Red Neck, to me, is not a negative, it's a culture!!
  • dave54dave54 Posts: 3
    Im planning to buy an 2005 RX-8 w/ the Grand Touring Package. Do you think im better off keeping the Bose System in the RX-8 or buying aftermarket audio components? And can some one give me the info on this Phatnoise system?
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