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HTF Car of the Week (12/19): 2003 Mazda RX-8


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#1 of 42 OFFLINE   Chuck C

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Posted December 19 2002 - 10:51 AM

2003 Mazda RX-8

Posted Image

Just take a look at it. What a beauty. The new RX-8 boasts an impressive hi-revving 250hp rotarty engine. My question is...does that mean there are no cylinders? I'm confused. Anyway, the RX-8 lacks something that the RX-7 had...a turbo. At any rate, the new styling combined with suicide doors, 6 sp, and 18" wheels will turn heads.
Posted Image

And at around $30,000-35,000, there will be lots of heads turning. Competition: Nissan 350Z/G35 coupe, Acura RSX, Audi TT, Honda S2000.


Note: I was going to go with a German car this week, but the last discussion turned into talk of the BMW M3.

Let the discussion begin! I want at least 100 posts Posted Image

#2 of 42 OFFLINE   Cam S

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Posted December 19 2002 - 11:05 AM

Dam I love the looks of that car, but I don't think the RSX will be bale to compete with it, no way. The Front wheel drive is too much of a disadvantage. The new Neon with 240hp at the wheels, now that would be more of a comparison for a front drive car to the RX-8.
MOOOOOO

#3 of 42 OFFLINE   DavidAM

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Posted December 19 2002 - 11:15 AM

I'll be the first (but I'm sure not the last) to say the RX8 is plain ugly. I've seen this car in the mag's for years now....watching it evolve and I just don't like it. And at $30K+, there's way too many nicer cars out there. It looks like my next car will be a 350Z in about a year....if I can hold off that long. I'm just waiting for them to flood the market a little more for some negotiating room....and too see what the convertible looks like when it comes out in the spring. I just don't see this new RX8 being too popular. I did love the last RX7 though.
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#4 of 42 OFFLINE   Scott L

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Posted December 19 2002 - 11:32 AM

Quote:
The new Neon with 240hp at the wheels, now that would be more of a comparison for a front drive car to the RX-8.
zuhhhhh..??? Neon having 240hp at the wheels I don't think so. Posted Image

I guess you could say a rotary engine has one single big cylinder where the piston does a lot more than standard engines. It eliminates the need for valves and cams plus since it's constantly spinning in a cicrcular motion there's much more power to be gained per liter (standard pistons have to go up, then go back down over and over..)

Take a look at this animation and read the rest of the site to get more details:

http://www.howstuffw...ary-engine4.htm

#5 of 42 OFFLINE   David-S

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Posted December 19 2002 - 12:39 PM

I honestly think they look better than the 350 (IMO)...


Apparently they couldn't put a turbo on because it made the exhaust too cool for cat's to work correctly...

In a few years (after this whole grad school thing), it'll be a tough call between this and the G35 (coupe)... both seem like a great value for the money right now...

#6 of 42 OFFLINE   Chuck C

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Posted December 19 2002 - 01:20 PM

Do you think the design on the seats has something to do with the releaux wheel on the engine? Posted Image

#7 of 42 OFFLINE   Cam S

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Posted December 19 2002 - 02:18 PM

Quote:
zuhhhhh..??? Neon having 240hp at the wheels I don't think so.


I guess you don't read any car magazines then. Dodge has a new Neon called the "SRT-4". It's a 2.4L inline 4 that's turboed and inter cooled. Sport Compact Car has done some extensive testing on it and the car has put down 240hp at the wheels, 0-60 in 5.8 seconds, and the 1/4 mile in 14.2. Zuhhhhh, I think so.

2003 Dodge Neon SRT-4
MOOOOOO

#8 of 42 OFFLINE   Kris McLaughlin

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Posted December 19 2002 - 02:31 PM

Mmmm, I love all the wacky cars Mazda makes! I love seeing something different on the road, anything with some personality. A big reason why I love my 93 MX-3 V6 so much.
American "styling" or lack thereof just doesn't do it for me.
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#9 of 42 OFFLINE   John Tillman

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Posted December 19 2002 - 02:46 PM

Speaking of Dodge... how bout' a 325 horse Charger?
http://www.dodge.com....s/charger.html
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#10 of 42 OFFLINE   DavidAM

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Posted December 19 2002 - 02:55 PM

Quote:
Sport Compact Car has done some extensive testing on it and the car has put down 240hp at the wheels, 0-60 in 5.8 seconds, and the 1/4 mile in 14.2.


I don't read SCC, but the R&T article you just linked says its rated at 215hp, so I'm sure its putting less than 200hp at the wheels. Was the SCC Neon modded or something? And I'll admit, those 2 pics above are the most flattering pics I've seen of the RX8 (although I still say its far from a knockout), but I'd still drop my money somewhere's else.
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#11 of 42 OFFLINE   GaryP

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Posted December 19 2002 - 03:29 PM

On a bit of an HT related note, I believe the RX-8 is the transportation of choice for Cyclops in X-Men 2 Posted Image

Gary
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#12 of 42 OFFLINE   Cam S

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Posted December 19 2002 - 04:40 PM

Quote:
During our testing, the angry little SRT-4 hit 60 in 5.8 seconds and put 223 hp and 250 lb-ft of torque to its front wheels on our Dynojet chassis dyno. That means our test car made more power and torque at the wheels than it's rated for at the flywheel, which is unheard of from nearly any car.


Sorry, I was quoting the torque figures as the horsepower. But hell, that is ALOT of torque!! No doubt about it this Neon is all business. I wonder if Honda will make something to compete with it. The neon SCC tested was right from the factory, nothing done to it in any way. Full article about the neon SCC tested is here.
MOOOOOO

#13 of 42 OFFLINE   CharlesD

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Posted December 19 2002 - 04:48 PM

The Neon doesn't have 240hp at the crank much less the front wheels. But the great thing about turbo cars is that it wouldn't take a great deal of effort/money to get it to 240 whp with after-market go-faster bits! The torque steer on that thing must be hideous though.

The RX-8 is an interesting car.. 250hp from a 1.3 Wankel.. the RX-7 had about that output from its 1.3, but that had a couple of turbos to get it there. Personally I oscillate between liking and not liking its looks. Some cars look better in photos than in reality and others vice versa, seeing it for real will be the key.

#14 of 42 OFFLINE   Shawn Shultzaberger

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Posted December 19 2002 - 05:49 PM

I used to have an '87 Turbo2 RX-7 and I loved that car. I will own another one as soon as my Subaru is paid off. Of course this time I'll toss the Rotary engine and throw in my Chevy 350. Much better power to weight ratio and a 50/50 balance with the use of aluminum heads and accessories.

I like the looks of the RX-8. Smooth lines and it's a four door. It doesn't quite have the torque of the older ones though. As it is right now I don't think I'd plunk the money down for one. If there was a turbo then it's a different story. The rotary engines are just so much smoother up past 6000 rpm's and sound awesome.

The Neon should have equal length shafts so torque steer should be very minimal. It does not come with an LSD so wheel spin is going to be a problem. And, I heard that it will be selling without all-season tires. If this is true then there are going to be plenty of wrecks during the winter for those who thought they were getting all-season tires. This is rumor though and I have not confirmed this.
Dodge is heading in the right direction with this car. With the Subaru WRX & STi and Mitsubishi EVO, Dodge is on the right track.
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#15 of 42 OFFLINE   AviTevet

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Posted December 19 2002 - 07:46 PM

The new Neon should have 245ft-lbs of torque & 215hp at the crank. The Neon SCC got was a ringer as far as anyone knows, unless the buyers start discovering they have way underspec'd engines also.

I don't like the front of the RX-8, it looks like the designers were trying to make it interesting so they just kept adding curves. The back's cool and the suicide door is interesting. Mazda's said that this isn't intended to be an RX-7 replacement, so I guess we can't expect huge numbers from the engine. Too bad Posted Image

#16 of 42 OFFLINE   Scott L

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Posted December 19 2002 - 08:54 PM

Quote:
I guess you don't read any car magazines then. Dodge has a new Neon called the "SRT-4". It's a 2.4L inline 4 that's turboed and inter cooled. Sport Compact Car has done some extensive testing on it and the car has put down 240hp at the wheels, 0-60 in 5.8 seconds, and the 1/4 mile in 14.2. Zuhhhhh, I think so.
I had a post all neatly typed up but for the sake of HTF friendliness I'll just type this. Posted Image

Another link for you

#17 of 42 OFFLINE   Justin Doring

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Posted December 19 2002 - 10:07 PM

I thought Ford owned Mazda, not Dodge. Posted Image In other words, this funky Prowler looking thing looks fugly. I'll take a G35C, thank you.
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#18 of 42 OFFLINE   Charles J P

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Posted December 20 2002 - 01:31 AM

Quote:
The torque steer on that thing must be hideous though.
It has equal length half shafts, so there will be no torque steer. I like the RX8 btw. I currently drive a 2002 PR5 and would own another Mazda provided it holds up in the long haul.

#19 of 42 OFFLINE   Shawn C

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Posted December 20 2002 - 03:37 AM

I think the new RX-8 is super-cool. I love the rotary engine. Anyways, not to turn this into a Neon thread...but..

..That little car is gonna be SMOKIN'. Where else are you going to get that kind of performance for $19G or so?

I own a standard Neon now. Yeah, it pretty much sucks, but it gets me back and forth to my son's day-care. I would seriously consider moving up to the SRT-4.

#20 of 42 OFFLINE   Tim Markley

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Posted December 20 2002 - 03:39 AM

IMO that's just plain ugly. Too bad because I really liked the last generation of the RX7.


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