2003 Mazda RX8 Spec S / 6 port 1.3L from Australia and New Zealand
Well rounded sports car
Nothing at all has gone wrong since I've owned this. Although I did purchase this off Turners Auctions, and they said that there was a milky dipstick, and a problem with the radiator.
Little did they know that the milky dipstick was due to lack of use, and condensation of water out of the oil. The radiator simply had a faulty sensor, and required a change of the header tank, a simple fix. Meant that I picked this up way below retail, $12500; approx $18,000 at dealers.
I have to say that I have never owned a rotary before. From the outside, most people and what is written about the engines in general is only 10% of the story. Most of these people simply repeat info over and over.
Second to none, I've had no problems with my car. Just remember to check the oil twice a month, and do not overfill it.
The drive and performance:
This car is a dream to drive. The engine is located behind the front wheels, low engine mounting, and rear wheel drive means this hangs onto corners like nothing else. The performance is also pretty good; now that the initial buzz has worn off, there is a lack of torque in low revs (gears help here), but this is a characteristic of a rotary, and being NA doesn't help. Nonetheless, you will give other moderately priced European sports cars a good run for their money.
Yeah it does like to drink fuel, but then again so do big V6's and other turbo'd 4's. Mostly I have found that I have been getting 350-400kms a tank in town, and 500 on long runs.
Given that it is a unique engine, you'd be thinking that it would be a good idea to get a service by a dealership, which I'd be inclined to agree with if it was a standard piston engine. However, the amount of rotaries sold compared with the piston variety mean that good mechanics are few and far between. In this instance I have learnt to service it myself, along with the help of the rx8club.com website (a wealth of knowledge, from owners of the car).
In general: this car is unique and is admired by many, a very good alternative to a boring Skyline, Silvia, Evo, etc.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 22nd June, 2011