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Mazda RX-8

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  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 7,262
    jaquino....I think the 350Z is a fine car. Never looked at it as a "pig". It was my 2nd choice behind the RX8 Way different feel than the RX8, though. It does have the "feel" closer to the V8 Mustangs with more refinement. That's not a bad thing at all.

    Matter of fact, the Cobra was in my top 5 when looking for cars. The performance it offers for the price currently is pretty astounding (hard to break $30K all loaded up). Even a Mustand GT convertible was up there on my shopping list. Just amazing what those can be bought for today.

    Funny thing, I agreed almost entirely with what C&D said about the Cobra, G35 (applies to the 350Z, too) and the RX8. That's a rarity for me.

    About dealer stock....I just don't see any. I think what most are seeing are some dealers with stock that is either already spoken for, waiting to be delivered or people that, for one reason or the other, had to back out of their deal for the RX8. That's how I came across mine. I had a mica Red pre-ordered, but was able to buy the "winning blue" (which I much prefered over the red) after the original buyer counldn't get financed. Happened to be at the right place at the right time. There are 4 dealers in my area and none of them have stock....just delivering pre-orders. If one becomes available (like mine), it's gone in a day.

    I don't expect that to continue, though. As the Z and G35 have been out for a bit, I see quite a few of those on the dealers' lots and discounts of about $1K off MSRP (now that my local Infiniti/Nissan dealers know that I have the option of giving my RX8 back, they are more than willing to "make a deal" on one of their sleds). Same will happen eventually with the RX8....maybe when the '05s come out.

    The more I drive mine and the more I find out about the car, the more I like it. I have a lot of respect for the 350Z. I just much prefer the total package and driving experience of the RX8.

    Someone else called the RX8 experience "cult like". That's probably not too far from the truth.
  • logic1logic1 Posts: 2,433
    The Cobra is still a little rough around the edges for me, even in its newest iteration.

    I think Mazda is doing the right thing with the RX-8. Mazda has always been about light, tossable power. The RX-8 continues the tradition masterfully. Adding 100 pounds to a car that is all about being light changes its character dramatically.

    The Vette is the fire breathing 800 pound gorilla in the perfomance roadster market and has been for many of its 50 years on the market. No one is going to compete with it. Better to have Mazda do its own thing well than to fail at doing someone else's thing.
  • carguy58carguy58 Posts: 2,303
    I could really care less about that. Nissan pressed the whole HP war with the 02 Altima and Honda followed. So what if Mazda doesn't want to follow suit?

    About Mazda following the competition Mazda should not want to beat the Vette. The last time Mazda followed the competition was when they tried to be Toyota in 1995 by making bland cars. Its better if Mazda is Mazda and doesn't do anything drastic just because some other car company is doing something else.
  • graphicguy: Thanks, its refreshing to find at least one non-350Z owner that does not think that the 350Z is an overweight, overbloated pig with a maxima engine :) Your quote of $30k for a Cobra is amazing, thats a lot of muscle for the money.

    logic1, carguy58: I agree with you guys, Mazda should stick to what they do best, which is making great looking/great handling cars. Take for instance the Mazda 6, which has lower HP than than Altima or Accord, but out-handles those two competitors. And while subjective, the Mazda 6 to me looks better than the Altima or Accord. In my opinion the 1995 RX-7 beats the 300ZX and Supra in the looks department, and looks great even to this day.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,057
    No one has commented on how American cars feel very American and foreign ones foreign. This kind of preference is very influential on buying decisions. You'll never confuse the two types of cars.

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  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 7,262
    jaquino....your 350Z doesn't take a back seat to any car. It's a great car....just different than the RX8. The RX8 is all about reflexes, precision and refinement with a healthy dose of "giddyup" thrown into the mix. The 350Z feels to me like a brute force attacking the road. For what they do, both the 350Z/G35 and the RX8 are at the pinnacle of the sports car field without breaking the bank.

    Logic...the Corvette, indeed, is the 800 pound gorilla. It makes no pretense about what it is about. It's the truly American way of beating the pavement it drives on into submission. I used to like that feel. Then I started messing around with lighter, hi rev machines and it became clear which I preferred.

    Mr. Shiftright....I've tried to put into words the driving experience between American bred sports cars like the Mustang GT/Cobra and the Corvette vs something like the RX8. And they are so different, it would take up way too much space.

    Not a bad thing, but the 350Z has become more "Americanized" in its feel. Having owned a 260Z in the past (not the best example of a "Z"), it used to exude what the RX8 does so well now...smooth, turbine'like engine, light, precise shifter and clutch, gobs of "stick", precise steering that feels "spot-on" (another marvel since the steering is now electircally controlled as opposed to hydraulic)...high content, high build quality exterior/interior....great ergonomics...and finally, a great(BOSE, if you can believe it) stereo.

    See, I can't put it into words effectively.
  • I like your explanation of the characteristics between the 350Z as opposed to the RX-8, brute force vs finesse. I think that fits the description of these 2 cars quite nicely. Two distinct driving experiences. Neither car is a wrong choice, it just depends what particular attribute that the individual wants in his/her sports car.

    No arguing with the Corvette/Viper/Cobra, these cars represent the pinacle of brute force/raw power that is not going cost you a house payment like the European counterparts. It would be silly for me to compare the 350Z to these sports cars, they are in a whole different performance class.

    One thing the RX-8 does definitely beat the 350Z is in the sound system. I have heard only postive reviews of the RX-8 BOSE system while the BOSE system in the Z, even with the so called "improvements" made in the 2004 model, still sounds bad from the reviews I have read.
  • audia8qaudia8q Posts: 3,138
    We got some interesting market research today from mazda....They have been following very closely what people are comparing to the RX-8 and what they are buying instead of the RX-8. They have found that if somebody is shopping the RX-8 they will buy the RX-8 over every car in class except the G35. That is the only car in class that the RX-8 loses more sales than it gains.

    Northeast region is the strongest region for RX-8 sales. This is also mazda strongest region overall, so that wasnt a surprise.

    RX-8 national television advertising started last night and will be strong thru the end of the month.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,057
    American cars of prodigious HP just feel "american". They feel BIG to drive, even if their dimensions are not so different from a foreign counterpart. Sometimes, under aggressive driving rules, they feel as if they extend sideways from one side of the road to the other, and they push a lot in turns and you drive them differently than foreign cars. They are not delicate little ballerinas and you use all three arms and all three legs if you are pushing hard on them. I don't think I could mix them up if I were blindfolded (not driving of course).

    In traffic, well, most cars feel the same unless you have a bear clutch.

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  • I read on CNN.com today that the G35 Sedan (didn't mention anything about the coupe) got a poor rating for a 5 MPH bumper crash test. When the bumper is hit, it tends to go inward causing more costly damage. The only car in the six car test to get an average rating was the Mazda 6, which was engineered to protect the bumper and make it more durable. Thought you might find this interesting.
  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 7,262
    jaquino....it was a tough decision for me when comparing the 350Z vs the RX8. In the "stop light wars" I'd definitely want to be in the 350Z (although, being an old autoX guy, I'd bet I could drive a Tiburon and take the crown from the "fast and furious" set). The 350Z will brutalize the tuner civic/subie/mitsu crowd. The RX8 will hang with them and wait for some "cut and thrust" manuevers to "wink" at them when as it passes.

    Mr Shiftright....not often, but sometimes, I feel like just annihalating the road. Those Cobras and Corvettes do that so well. But you have to "manhandle" them to do what you want. Defintely, they are a very heavy drive. Everthing feels like it has to be "forced" to make them work right....the clutch, the shifter, the steering. Plus, you don't know where you're going to end up after a little "shoving" the cars to bend to your will.

    Just using the RX8 as an example, it is way more instinctive and willing to "play" when the mood strikes....no forcing, no shoving is needed....kind of like the quick, agile, light on his feet kid on the playground getting the best of the "big, bad bully" during a fight.
  • kernickkernick Posts: 4,072
    you: No arguing with the Corvette/Viper/Cobra, these cars represent the pinacle of brute force/raw power that is not going cost you a house payment like the European counterparts.

    me: Well the Viper is brute force, and the Vette and Cobra are only civilized, IMHO. I think everyone who appreciates performance cars, appreciates them for their power and speed. Some people argue performance is mainly about handling and feel; others about acceleration and top-speed. Of course we should want both!

    And European performance cars are not just about light weight, good handling vehicles. The ones I can think of (not exotics) such as from Porsche, BMW, Mercedes, and Audi are using larger, and larger displacement engines and going for high power. They are all 3200lb+. Sure they are much more money than an RX-8, and unaffordable (prefer to spend on travel) to me. I was just stating prior that for a few thousand more the RX-8 could offer similar performance to some of these vehicles. Maybe the aftermarket will come out with a turbo kit?
  • carliker: I saw the article you mentioned, the poor rating was based largely on cost as opposed to passenger safety... but that is quite disappointing nontheless. I went to the NHTSA web-site to find crash data for the G35, and oddly enough there is no data. The 350Z scored five stars at NHTSA, so I expect the G35 to do the same. I hope the 350Z's bumper is cheaper to replace, thats a bit too much for a measly 3mph bump :(

    graphicguy: I applaud you for your "preciseness" in your purchasing decision of the RX-8 :). I must admit that at one point in time I was intent on buying the RX-8 over the 350Z and was so close to purchasing one, but I have never purchased a car as expensive as the 350Z/RX-8 and I "chickened" out because I am more comfortable with Nissan, having owned a 1991 Nissan Sentra that is still running great and still has the original timing chain. It was a hard decision for me, both cars were #1 on my list. This is the reason why you will NOT hear me bad-mouthing/bashing the RX-8, because I could have owned one.
  • Kernick: "Well the Viper is brute force, and the Vette and Cobra are only civilized, IMHO. I think everyone who appreciates performance cars, appreciates them for their power and speed. Some people argue performance is mainly about handling and feel; others about acceleration and top-speed. Of course we should want both!"

    I agree, I probably should not have lumped the Viper with the Corvette/Cobra. The Viper is definitely a brute! And yes, it would be sweet to have a 2000lb 2 seater with a 9000 rpm-redline and 500 lb/ft of torque :D

    Yes there will probably be aftermarket guys bolting a turbo on the RX-8, like what there are doing now with the 350Z. Most likely it will happen some time next year.

    If the RX-8 turns out to be a success for Mazda, there are rumors that they will bring back the RX-7. Mazda just has to prove to Ford that the rotary engine is a viable/profitable platform.
    If people buy the RX-8 and it proves to be a money-maker for Mazda then the RX-7 will follow.
    Imagine a bigger engine, and less weight! This is the car that the diehard rotorhead will want.
  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 7,262
    We all have different motivations when it comes time to purchase a car. They are big investments. Sometimes I can't believe I would even consider spending $30K+ for a car. Hell, I can remember thinking I would never spend $15K, then it was $20K, then it was $25K, then it was $30K for a car. It's hard to put that amount of money into a depreciating asset, no matter how good the car is. That said, we've come to a point in life where we can afford them, so we buy them.

    If you felt more comfortable buying a Nissan, then that should be reason enough for buying a 350Z. Again, they are great cars. I have a high amount of respect for both the car and the company. I'm not brand loyal in the least. That's come back to "bite me in the butt" on occasion since I've owned some real "stinkers" being brand loyal, but those were all GM cars.
  • Being brand-loyal can sometimes be more of a hindrance than a blessing. Its the diehards/fanatics that will refuse to accept the virtues of other cars besides there own, and its a pity. The brand-neutral person will be able to evaluate a car based on its merits, and experience a slew of vehicles that the fanatic will never get to appreciate just because the "nameplate" is not to their liking.
  • Kernick - They don't have to do anything with the RX-8 and it still outperforms the BASE models of the vehicle brands you listed. The Z4, the Mercedes roadster and Audi TT are all slower. We're talking more of $10,000-$15,000 difference before the RX-8 would be outperformed by those brands. Road & Track also mentioned that the RX-8 is just as fast as the base Porsche Boxster. That is really saying something about a vehicle which is more than $10,000 cheaper and has a back seat.
  • the_big_hthe_big_h Posts: 1,583
    score another point for RX-8 in 'value/fun-per-dollar' category :)
  • It is little early for this - but have any of you guys who own an RX8 thought about snow performance? I will have to get snow tires, of course, probably with a new set of wheels. (I live in Boston and use the car to commute to work.) Are any of the sensors for the navigation system on the wheels themselves? That might make changing the wheels a problem. Anyone know of 18" snow tires?
  • the_big_hthe_big_h Posts: 1,583
    have tire pressure sensors attached inside. you may want to find out how to disable the tire pressure monitor system when you have the winter wheels on.
  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 7,262
    Go to www.tirerack.com. They have a multitude of tires and snow tires/rims.

    I live in the midwest. So, we don't get a ton a snow...usually only a couple of dustings. But, I have seen it where we will get 4"-5" some years.

    I'll wait to see how ABS + traction/stability control works first.

    I can't imagine it being any worse than the old RWD beaters with skinny tires with no ABS, no trac control that I've driven in the past.
  • I will of course wait for at least initial snow to see how the car is doing. The car has traction control, ABS, a limited slip differential and a 50-50 weight distribution. So the underlying mechanicals are sound. The tires, however, are performance tires, not rated M+S, I think. That is what worries me.
  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 7,262
    I know that I've driven my RX8 in heavy rain, and the car still sticks like glue with the tires that are on the car with a very wet road.

    Snow is a different story, though. The tires ARE preformance tires and don't lend themselves to snow driving. How much the trac control, 50-50 weight, ABS conpensate will be interesting.
  • himilerhimiler Posts: 1,209
    The OE RX-8 tires will not do well in temps below 40F.

    After you consider the expense (what's your deductible?) and hassle involved with putting a new car into a guardrail, winter tires start to look inexpensive.

    At the very least, buy some aggressive all-seasons and get 'em mounted on their own 17" rims (16's if they'll clear the brakes).
  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 7,262
    Since the current tires/wheels are 18s, what's your take on 18" snows? I don't know how 16" or 17" will affect the rest of the car. I'm more concerned for winter tire storeage since I've already got my garage stuffed with two cars, lawn tractor, etc.
  • Anyone know how many speakers the rx-8 have ,everyone says 9 but in other website they say 6 speakers,so which one is it ,and where in the car are the speakers located?
  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 7,262
    The base model comes with 6 speakers. The models with BOSE comes with 9, including a sub.

    As much crap as BOSE has taken, I find the unit in the RX8 among the best stock stereos I've heard in a car. The only one better was the Mark Levinson one in some of the Lexi. But, that unit costs a ton more, too.

    There must be different levels of BOSE units as stock stereos. The ones I've heard in GM cars aren't all that good. Even the BOSE in the 350Z sucks pretty badly.

    The BOSE in the RX8 surpasses the Infinity I had in the 300M I used to own....and that one was a dandy.
  • "Since the current tires/wheels are 18s, what's your take on 18" snows? "

    - If you are worried about space for snow tires in your garage, downgrade to the 17" tires. According to Tirerack, there are 17" snow tires to be had, but no 18" that I know of. Also, if there was, due to the width of the tire, the grooves would probably be more shallow than the 17 or 16" rims, thus being worse off.

    Your best option is to get the 18", and have 16" rims with snowtires available. This way you get the best of both worlds. That, or you can do what I did, and move to Southern Cal. :-)
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,438
    so, to address his other question, I assume 2 speakers are in the dash, 2 in the front doors, 2 in the rear doors, 2 on the rear decks, and the subwoofer is maybe in the trunk?

    and aside from the subwoofer, which 2 are missing from the 6-speaker setup? rear doors?

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

  • kernickkernick Posts: 4,072
    I agree with you that European performance cars are highly priced compared to the RX-8.
    I was simply stating that on a psychological or street-bragging level (wanna race?) mode, Mazda's flagship performance car is comparable or beats Base models from other companies.

    It just doesn't sit well with me that a company that wants the "Zoom, Zoom" image, says heres our best performance model, it looks nice and is quite sporty, but don't expect to race many of the other performance cars out there. Don't race the new Audi S4, forget the Evo and WRX STI, no Corvettes, Mach 1's, or Cobras. Forget the Volvo S series, most Porsches, etc, etc. When Subaru has more Zoom, Zoom than you do, and you're a sports car company, there's something wrong with the philosophy.
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