2006 Mazda RX8 from North America - Comments

13th Feb 2007, 08:17

:58 did not do any research on his RX8 prior to purchasing it and so was disappointed. To say it has a "small engine" is not to understand what the engine is. Premium gas was a known factor prior to buying the car, as was the low torque.

Most people don't cross shop Mustangs and RX8's because they are for two totally separate drivers. Mustangs are for drivers who like going in straight lines and enjoy outdated technology (such as the solid rear axle). RX8's are for people that like a real sports car, albeit one with limited torque.

That said, hopefully your Mustang will be more reliable.

14th Feb 2007, 22:22

:17.

My comments regarding premium fuel/poor gas mileage were responses to the original poster's assertion that the RX-8 was more fuel efficient than a V8 powered car. It is not. Further, only after owning one for a while did I realize how its lack of low-end power would taint my daily commute.

Regarding 'outdated technology', I agree that the Mustang's solid rear axle is less elegant than an independent rear end, but it is more than adequate for the daily commute, or occasional spirited drive. The rotary engine, however, is an example of technology for the sake of technology; its output is much lower than the Mustang's V8, while its gas mileage is about the same, if not lower.

Finally, thus far, my Mustang proven to be much more reliable and better made than my previous RX-8.

15th Mar 2007, 15:54

I bought my Rx8 about a year ago and love everything about the car except the ride height and the rotary engine. The ride height can easily be fixed with an aftermarket suspension setup, which will also improve the already great handling.

The rotary engine however, isn't such an easy fix. I do recognize that the rotary has been very successful in road racing and even drag racing, but, because I am not a die-hard rotary fan I cannot overlook its many shortcomings.

In comparison to say, an LS2 V8, (which is a common swap for FC and FD Rx7's) the rotary is only 50 something lbs. lighter, makes a fraction of the torque, runs hotter, eats oil, gets much worse gas mileage, and is less durable and reliable. The only advantage I can think of in the rotary's favor is the fact that the engine is very compact and sits completely behind the front axle, thus centering the weight on the chassis.

If I were planning on keeping my Rx8 longer, I would get an LS2 Corvette engine swapped into my car, making it the ultimate usable sports car (in my opinion).

13th Apr 2007, 13:59

So the R8-8's rotary engine is less fuel efficient than a V8 (my experience), puts out less horse power, much less torque, and is less reliable, despite having fewer moving parts?

Someone please explain why the rotary is the superior technology!

14th Apr 2007, 09:39

Your point is well taken, and the only reason I can think of is weight.

25th Apr 2007, 14:22

On a displacement/horsepower ratio the rotary is far superior than the piston engine. There is a reason the rotary was banned at LeMans - it put out vastly (unfair) amounts of power for its displacement class. It also has no top end limit, theoretically, so when you force-induct it the sky is the limit. The third-gen RX-7 rotary put out 255 hp from, I believe 1.2 liters (two rotor). That's 73.2 cubic inches, for 211.6 hp per liter. The new z-06 would need to produce 1481 hp from 427 cubic inches to match this output.

20th May 2007, 14:36

I have to wonder how up to date your information is, not to mention where you're coming from with your subjective perceptions.

The car is anything, but "gutless." While not blazing fast, it is certainly quick enough to be thoroughly enjoyable. If you find it to have insufficient power for your daily commute, one has to wonder whether either you don't know how or are too lazy to drive it properly. Someone actually interested in driving this car, as opposed to simply climbing behind the wheel and stomping on the gas petal, will find it to be thoroughly enjoyable.

The engine certainly has a less than stellar record, though the kinks are being worked out. I've seen little or no reports of "catastrophic failures" for the '06 or '07 model years.

As for claiming that fuel economy is "worse" than competing V8 cars, that's just not accurate. Agreed, a car of this curb weight with an engine this small would be expected to do better than it does. But it certainly is not "worse" than competing eight cylinder cars. Go to the EPA's website. The 2007 RX8's predicted fuel economy is nearly identical to the 2007 Mustang 4.6L considerably better than the 5.4L. The same is true regarding the Charger and the Monte Carlo.

There's nothing wrong with preferring a Mustang GT to the RX8. They are very different cars that offer very different driving experiences.

19th Jun 2007, 15:37

Oh, and by the way, the Mustang has a 50/50 weight ratio as well.

21st Jun 2007, 11:42

I'd be very surprised if the Mustang has the 50/50 balance that the RX8 has. However, when used as a 'cruiser' the Mustang rides quite well. It can't match the RX8's handling prowess, but few cars under $40K can.

In my experience, the 4.6 liter Mustang is slightly more fuel efficient than the RX8 in mixed driving, and dramatically better on the highway.

Regarding being "gutless"... it's lack of torque is an issue when commuting in stop-and-go traffic, where there's no opportunity to ring the engine out. In this scenario, it (subjectively) feels underpowered.

While the RX8 is a great handling car, it's much less entertaining as a daily driver (and its poor reliability precludes it from being used as such). Perhaps reliability has improved over the years, but I would not be willing to take that risk.

30th Jul 2007, 21:16

I'm getting ready to buy my baby, the RX8. I fell in love with this car when it came out, and when I was 18.

I think reliability have improved in last 3 years, but that does not bother me at all, as well as mpg, and low end torque, and the starting problem. I have spoked with experienced people about the starting problem, and I was given a simple solution REV THE ENGINE TO 5K THEN SHUT IT DOWN; it will clear the fluids from the engine. I don't know if it's true because I never had an RX8. And the ONLY down side I have is 12% APR on my loan.

4th Aug 2007, 13:35

Why do people buy this car when they don't research it and know nothing about it? This car has a unique engine that must be taken care of differently than a conventional piston engine.

The RX-8 2-rotor Wankel engine consumes oil by design, not a flaw. It has an Oil Metering Pump (OMP) that automatically injects oil into the rotor housing to lubircate the seals. It even says in your owners manual that you will need to periodically top off the oil.

Some rotaries do flood (too much gas in the chambers) in cold-weather situations, but the newest ECU flash takes care of it, and no one I know in my group of RX-8 enthusiast has flooded their engines. And if you do happen to flood it, it's easy to fix yourself. The procedure is, once again, in your owners manual.

The RX-8's fuel economy isn't stellar, but it's better than it's main competitors. I agree it should get better mileage, but it's still a sports car, and no one buys a sports car for the fuel economy.

No street-legal Mustang in the world has a 50/50 weight distribution like the RX-8 has.

The RX-8 makes less power because it has a SMALLER engine than the Mustang. The Mustang has a 4.6 liter V-8. The RX-8 has a 1.3 liter. That's nearly a QUARTER of the size.

For reference, let's measure specific output, using crankshaft-rated brake SAE horsepower:

Mustang GT: 300bhp/4.6 liters= 65.22-hp per liter

Mazda RX-8: 232bhp/1.3 liters= 178.46-hp per liter.

Obviously, the RX-8's engine is a more efficent design, because of it's power density and specific output. For the Mustang's V-8 to make the specific output of a STOCK RX-8's Renesis rotary, the Mustang would have to make over 820-bhp, stock.

The RX-8 is also the lightest 4-door car on the market today. And, unlike the Mustang, has useable rear seats. And it can take a corner at much, much higher speeds than any Mustang.

The RX-8 has the best side impact and roll-over crash rating of any vehicle sold in America- better than Volvo.

The RX-8 can stop better than any vehicle out there. It can do 60-0mph in 117 feet. No other 4-door car can match it, and all of it's direct competitors (Mustang GT, 350Z, G35, etc) do it in over 122 feet.

The RX-8 can pull over 0.94 lateral g's on a skidpad, bettering any other car out there in stock form for under $50k, and whopping it's competition.

I understand some people just want to get behind the wheel, mash the gas and go, and deal with a bland, everyday car. If so, this car, and it's unique engine, isn't for you.