The most remarkable thing about the RX-8 is that under the bonnet is only a 1308cc engine - no that is not an error.
The most remarkable thing about the RX-8 is that under the bonnet is only a 1308cc engine - no that is not an error. So how does Mazda produce a car that delivers 231ps and is capable of 0-62 mph in only 6.4 seconds? At the heart of the RX-8 is Mazda’s Rotary Wankel Engine entitled ‘RENESIS’. One of the main advantages of the engine is that it is compact being only 338mm high and light. This allows Mazda to position the engine to give the RX-8 perfect 50:50 front/rear weight distribution.
We have covered the engine in-depth: click here for more information on Mazda’s RENESIS engine.
The Mazda RX-8 needs to be worked hard to explore its full potential, if you are in the wrong gear, you not going anywhere in a hurry. This is a especially demonstrated when climbing hills, if you let the revs drop off then you are sitting duck. But if you are prepared to work the engine via the six speed gearbox then the RX-8 is very rewarding, all the way up to the 9,000 redline. More can be read about the Mazda RX-8’s Performance.
If the RX-8’s Achilles heal is its engine then its handling is its saviour with its near perfect 50:50 weight distribution, it takes a lot to unsettle the car even in the most demanding bends. Only once through provocation did the electronic stability programme add any input, otherwise the car will tend to lightly understeer and go on to oversteer if really pushed. Once or twice the limited slip differential took a bit of pounding on the fantastic Welsh ‘B’ roads; this is where the RX-8 proves itself. If you are in any doubt about buying a RX-8 simply test drive one on your favourite ‘B’ road and then you will be convinced. More can be read about the Mazda RX-8’s Ride and Handling.
Mazda RX-8 Road Test Data
|Model Reviewed||Mazda RX-8 High Power (231 PS)|
|Colour||Stormy Blue Mica|
|Performance (manufacturers data)|
|0 - 62 mph||6.4 Seconds|
|Top Speed||146 mph|
|Fuel Type||Unleaded Petrol|
|CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures)||g/km|
|Economy (NEDC Figures)|
|Extra Urban||32.5 mpg|
|Euro NCAP Rating||TBA|
|Warranty||3-years or 60,000 miles (whichever occurs first) from date of registration, with unlimited mileage in the first year|
|Price (when tested on the 21/05/07)||£22,300 OTR|
Car as tested £24,125
included Leather upholstery - includes power driver's seat and heated driver and front passenger seats £1500
Metallic paint £325