Mazda RX-8 R3 Review

Mazda RX-8
82%

Mazda RX-8 Review

Mazda RX-8 R3 Review | Part TwoMazda RX-8 R3 Review | Part ThreeMazda RX-8 R3 Road Test

The Mazda RX-8 was launched in the UK in October 2003 and has taken the UK sports coupe market by storm.

The Mazda RX-8 was launched in the UK in October 2003 and has taken the UK sports coupe market by storm. With the introduction of the RX-8, Mazda have created a 4-door, 4-seat coupe that is both practical and exciting to drive.

Building on the success of the Mazda RX-8, Mazda introduced the R3 model in August 2008 powered by an improved version of the 231ps twin-rotor engine. The new Mazda RX-8 R3 offers drivers a heightened experience with faster steering, chassis and engine responses, more refinement, more equipment and even greater value.

At the heart of the Mazda RX-8 is the RENESIS rotary engine which functions in a totally different way to a conventional internal combustion engine and was developed by German inventor Felix Wankel.

RENESIS is a water-cooled, twin-rotor engine with two chambers, each with 654 cm3 of displacement volume. The Mazda RX-8 R3 model produces 170 kW/231 PS at 8,200 rpm and achieves maximum torque of 211 Nm at 5,500 rpm. The Mazda RX-8 R3 accelerates from 0-62 mph in 6.4 seconds and has a top speed of 146 mph.

The engine and exhaust note is raucous and truly addictive - Mazda have clearly designed the RX-8 R3 with the enthusiast in mind. It develops its power at higher engine speeds and for this reason it has a maximum engine speed of 9,000 rpm - we found that you need to keep the car in the correct rev band to explore its true potential.

The standard 6-speed manual transmission is superb; offering light and precise gear changes and although well weighted we found the clutch a little heavy going in stop start traffic. Every new Mazda RX-8 R3 comes with a new six-speed manual gearbox developed from the transmission fitted in the smooth-shifting third-generation Mazda MX-5. This unit has better overall shift feel, making the new Mazda RX-8 R3 even more fun to drive. It is fitted with a higher top ratio (0.787:1) for quieter, relaxed and fuel-efficient cruising and the Mazda RX-8 R3 is fitted with a lower final drive ratio (4.777 compared to 4.444 for the previous model) for a sharper getaway from standstill and improved performance feel. The Mazda RX-8 R3's fuel economy is not spectacular at 24.6 mpg for the combined cycle, but is to be expected for a car of this performance.

Mazda RX-8 R3 Review | Part TwoMazda RX-8 R3 Review | Part ThreeMazda RX-8 R3 Road Test
Mazda RX-8 Road Test Data
Model ReviewedMazda RX-8 R3
  
Body TypeCoupe
ColourCrystal White Pearlescent
  
Performance (manufacturers data) 
  
0 - 62 mph6.4 seconds
Top Speed 146 mph
  
Transmission6-Speed Manual
  
Fuel TypeUnleaded Petrol
  
CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures) g/km
  
Economy (NEDC Figures) 
  
Urban18 mpg
Extra Urban31 mpg
Combined24.6 mpg
  
Insurance Group16
Euro NCAP RatingTBA
Warranty3 years / 60000 miles
Price (when tested on the 28/07/09) £24,473

The information contained within this Mazda RX-8 review may have changed since publication on the 28 July 2009. The actual model road tested may feature options and functionality specific to that model, which may not be available as on option or be fitted to other models in the range. Options may not be available on UK specification cars. You may wish to check with your local Mazda dealer, before making a purchasing decision. E.&.O.E. You may NOT reproduce this car review in full or part, in any format without our written permission. carpages.co.uk © 2018