2011 Mazda RX-8 R3: Review notes – Autoweek

15 Apr 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on 2011 Mazda RX-8 R3: Review notes – Autoweek
Mazda RX-8

2011 Mazda RX-8 R3: notes

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NEWS EDITOR MIGLIORE: The RX-8 is my favorite There are arguments for a lot of others, the Mazdaspeed 3. but I love the feel I get in low-slung car with the long tight chassis and manual

With the longitudinally mounted curvy wheel flares and a that peeks out like a tower on a submarine, the RX-8 feels and drives like a The chassis is rock solid, but be to feel every rut and imperfection in the I also felt the back end bouncing or vibrating while down the expressway at steady-state

The steering returns immediate off-center, directing this speedster directly. The brakes are with quick bite, and the is appropriately rigid and composed.

it’s loud. What do you Be prepared to turn up the radio or put the windows to distract yourself. The seats fit me, a five-foot-nine average-size perfectly.

The 1.3-liter is a pocket delivering power in a potent and fashion. Passing is energetic and Plus, I love the Le Mans this thing is outfitted great color scheme and

It’s too bad this is the end of the line for the I’ll miss it.

ART DIRECTOR KLEIN: I know this car is a different ballgame from the or the Mazdaspeed 3, but based on my previous in those Mazdas, I knew the would be a riot. While obvious that this would be quite a bit sportier and rougher in nature, I had a strong that the RX-8 would be as fun, if not more fun, to as the others.

The styling alone this car distinct on the road, the protruding wheel arches a strong, athletic look. is a lot of symbolism carried throughout the if the time is taken to look. The shape in the rotary engine is in many places, such as the the center console and the hood.

also was a strong emphasis on the especially on the dash/center-console area. The use of these shapes and curves the interior and exterior result in a bold design that your eye entertained at all angles.

The driving experience is actually tamer than I expected, the loud look. The ride was sensitive to road imperfections, but not as rough as I anticipated. The responsive and manual transmission made way for an ride when rush-hour opened up.

While the sporty of the RX-8 is at the forefront, it also has a of practicality. This car can fit four, and the rear seats are slightly the … doors allow of room for entering, exiting and

This Mazda RX-8 hit the in regards to fun, comfort and It’s too bad this may be the last one I

ROAD TEST EDITOR WONG: I write these with great sadness. sad because this is probably the time a RX-8 will be in the since production ends the 2011 model year. in 2003, the RX-8 marked the of the rotary engine to North which had gone without a vehicle offering since the end of when Mazda stopped the third generation RX-7.

The lived on in other markets 2002.

However, production soon cease for all markets. Mazda is producing a Spirit R to give the car a proper sendoff as it did the RX-7, but unfortunately, that car only be sold in Japan.

What’s the future for the rotary at There have been rumors with some the Hiroshima-based company had stopped altogether because the new 16X hasn’t able to meet fuel-economy and then there are some of the rotary being part of a powertrain of some sort. has done development work on a rotary, but there hasn’t much news on that in a long time, either.

As a owner, it’s difficult for me to Mazda not producing a Wankel Those triangles are so intertwined the company’s history and race including taking the overall win at Le in 1991 with the 787B. To they are still the only company to take the checkered at Circuit de la Sarthe.

With concentrating its efforts on its new Skyactiv that focus on more piston engines, transmissions and chassis development, I fear the rotary as we know it ends the RX-8. Some critics say good riddance because it was a hugely efficient engine, had oil consumption and was down on torque naturally aspirated versions), and refused to acknowledge the upsides of the such as its compact size, operation and high-revving personality.

For those who can accept the engine’s in the RX-8 (roughly 191,000 been worldwide since it was and are willing to give it the required it provides an experience few things can The insane throttle response and the hum the engine makes when you toward the 9,000-rpm redline are that are ingrained in my brain. that with a sensational gearbox and one of the tightest and well-tuned on the market, and you have a car that’s special.

The R3 model kicks it up one notch, which was named the R1 and R2 models on the last RX-7. a specific suspension with shocks, a more aggressive bumper, side sills, spoiler, xenon headlights, 19-inch wheels and Recaro

To really understand the RX-8, you to throw it around hard on roads. Only then you appreciate how composed it is and how well works in harmony. The slick and well-tuned clutch pedal going up or down gears a Keep the tachometer needle in the half of the band and good is available immediately under right foot.

The electric power steering loads of feedback to your with a good amount of tuned in when you crank the

Driving this car really is a matter of pointing and shooting, and it by doing exactly what you ask of it. the middle pedal and you’re with a firm feel and clamping power to make deep into corners a

Mazda RX-8

Yet unlike the RX-7 R1 and R2 models, comfort isn’t entirely out the window. It’s far from it as taken a previous R3 we had in the office on a road trip and I piled on 700 miles on this one alone. in mind that this car has low-profile tires and the ride going to be Lexus smooth, but still well suited to be every day.

The Recaro are both supportive for lateral and comfortable for just bumming town.

If you’re about you best move on. It’s a engine that wants to be hard. If you care about efficiency, again, keep buddy.

Yeah, there are some but if you put a premium on how a car drives and the sensation you get you’re behind the wheel, fall in love with the

That engine, gearbox, handling reflexes and brakes are all I’m going to miss. If you experienced this car, I recommend you go to your local dealer for a test drive. sure there are some new still on dealer lots for a good home.

Knowing this would most be the last go-around with car, I snapped a photo of RX-8 R3 next to my 1994 R2. I must say, they good together.

2011 RX-8 R3

Base Price:

As-Tested Price: $33,085

1.3-liter rotary; RWD, manual

Output: 232 hp @ 8,500 159 lb-ft @ 5,500 rpm

Curb 3,065 lb

Fuel Economy AW ): 18/17.2 mpg

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