2005 Mazda RX-8 Review

31 Aug 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on 2005 Mazda RX-8 Review
Mazda RX-8

2005 Mazda RX-8

DRIVING DOWN THE ROAD

CAREY RUSS

2005 RX-8

SEE ALSO: New Car Buyer’s for Mazda

If you’re looking for different in a car, consider the RX-8. While its radically styling is unlike that of else on the road today, not what really makes the different. The real difference hinted at outside, and none too if you know what you’re at – is under the hood.

every other internal car on the road today has a reciprocating-piston the RX-8 has a rotary-piston Wankel.

didn’t invent the Wankel – it was the life work of Wankel, a German inventor. Wankel had the idea for his engine in the with the first patent in 1936, it wasn’t until the that working engines first built. With no parts, the Wankel rotary-piston was remarkably smooth in operation. And it develop much more for a given displacement than a reciprocating engine, in a far smaller package.

Forty-five years nearly all automobile manufacturers, and aircraft engine makers, had to develop Wankel’s engine. It was as “tomorrow’s power.”

Mazda was the only automaker to with mass production of engines. For the early Wankel did some drawbacks. Rotor the equivalent of piston rings in a engine, originally had a short span. Low emissions and fuel were not design goals in the and `60, but became necessities Despite their power early Wankels had serious hydrocarbon emissions and poor economy.

The emissions regulations and oil of the Seventies put an end to most manufacturers’ development.

Mazda’s engineers those problems, and three of RX-7 sports car put rotary solidly on the motoring map. By the the third-generation RX-7 debuted in it had evolved from medium-performance, fun to an ultra-light, finely-honed, take-no-prisoners car with a 255-horsepower twin-turbo in a 2800-lb chassis and a high tag.

Sales plummeted, and stringent emissions regulations to mean the end of the Mazda Wankel.

to. The RX-7 soldiered on in Japan for a And then, in 1999 the “RX-Evolv” car was shown at the Tokyo Motor It was a distinctive-looking, very angular coupe with a difference it was a 2+2 featuring four doors, the rear doors rear-hinged and in the manner of those found on the of pickup cabs.

And under the hood was a Wankel. this mean a new RX-7?

It was too to be the fourth-generation RX-7. But, few changes, it did become the RX-8 it made its American debut model year. With room for four and a much price point than the RX-7, the RX-8 is aimed at a broader clientele than the 7, but still a real sports The new twin-rotor engine develops 238 in the manual transmission model, turbocharging, or 197 hp with an automatic.

changes are minor, limited to a new Pearl” color choice and Sirius(r) satellite radio.

Mazda RX-8

just finished a week a manual-shift RX-8 and found it to a fine, and most unusual, of sports car performance and looks and sedan space. It is a unique and Mazda is to be commended for developing the engine that is the RX-8’s and soul.

APPEARANCE: There is nothing on the road like the the RX-8. different shapes comprise its styling, but the overall result is The front, with its separate and protruding interpretation of the Mazda grille, evokes images of the of the front-engined sports-racing cars of the 1960s, but taken as a whole, the is ultra-contemporary.

In profile, it exhibits a wedge shape, with a low and high trunk lid. a regular sports coupe, the cabin is a major element of the look, and it is almost limo-formal, plenty of height over the seat. With the base of the at the rear of the front wheels, and the of the backlight near to the rear of the it’s difficult to tell the car is front- or mid-engined.

Such are the of the Wankel’s small size it’s in front, but placed the center of the car. The triangular rotor shape makes known in the hood, and both and rear lower bumper

COMFORT: The RX-8 departs far the sports coupe norm in accommodation. The genre is notorious for seats that are better-suited to than humans over the age of 10. The is different. With no central pillar, access is easy for all passengers.

If four six-footers quite in the design spec, a person can fit comfortably behind a front passenger. All four are comfortably-padded and bolstered for support in driving – and check out the shaped inserts in the front A rear-facing child seat can be in the rear.

Make no mistake, the is a driver’s car, with good instrumentation and near-perfect of the controls. For convenience, both and rear passengers have storage boxes and cupholders in the console, and there is a passthrough to the Trunk space is almost at a sedan size.

The RX-8 is as around town as it is fun to drive on the road, and can easily be an only not just a weekend toy.

Active safety equipment four-wheel vented antilock brakes and available dynamic control. Passive safety include front, front and side curtain airbags, a crumple zone, and anti-whiplash The RX-8 was the only car of 68 tested by to receive a five-star rating in a test.

RIDE AND HANDLING: The Wankel small size and light allow it to be placed low far back in the in what Mazda calls advanced front-midship” layout. and a fuel tank ahead of the axle, centralize the car’s and for perfectly-balanced 50/50 weight

Despite the large door the chassis is much more than that of the last providing a solid mount for the fully-independent double wishbone multilink rear suspension. with the stock suspension as on my test car, there is no that an RX-8 is a sports At everyday speeds, relatively spring rates give ride comfort, although is a bit firm. Push harder, and the gets happier.

When the is worked hard, it works it and with its wide, sticky profile tires and excellent rack and pinion steering, the gets down the road in the of a classic sports car – with three passengers. A sports suspension is available for the

PERFORMANCE: Hummmmmmmm. Ah, the unique of the rotary-piston engine. The RX-8’s 13B twin-rotor example goes a tenor hum at lower speeds to a shriek (suitably muted for operation, of course) at the 9,000-rpm

While power is adequate low, the engine is best above 4,000 rpm for optimum This is not a problem with the six-speed gearbox that is fare. Power builds in a manner, with a moderate rush, and because there are no engine parts, the engine is smooth. And power there is, 238 horsepower at 8500 rpm and 159 lb-ft of at 5500 rpm – from 80 aspirated cubic inches, you. No turbo necessary.

The automatic transmission model a retuned engine, with torque – 164 lb-ft at rpm – and less power, 197 hp at rpm, to work better the automatic.

CONCLUSIONS: Mazda the Wankel faith with the

Mazda RX-8
Mazda RX-8
Mazda RX-8
Mazda RX-8
Mazda RX-8
Mazda RX-8
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