The only rotary engine in the automotive world lies within the Mazda RX-8. An Iconic power plant for decades, and used to its best potential in the now out of production RX-7. The RX-8 continues Mazda’s tradition of sports cars built around the tiny rotary engine. It is however, a sedan, rather than the previous coupes. A none to portly 3000 LB. curb weight combined with perfect 50/50 front to rear weight distribution, make the RX-8 a best of class handling machine. Unfortunately, the rotary engine cannot produce the kind of power that is usually found in models in this segment. A better corner carver than a straight line rocket.
The 1.3 liter twin rotor engine isn’t the most fuel efficient and it lacks much power in the lower rev range, but once spooled up, things get much better. 232 HP comes at 9000 RPM’s. This is only available with the manual. With the automatic transmission power is limited to 212 hp. While these numbers are hardly earth shaking, the power delivery from this rotary engine is some of the smoothest to be found.
Engines: 1.3L rotary
Transmissions: 6-speed manual, 6-speed automatic
Models: Sport, Grand Touring, R3
The 2010 Mazda RX-8 is carried over 2009. According to our well placed sources in Japan, the 2011 model year will be the RX-8’s last before production ceases in Hiroshima, due mainly to stricter global emission standards and slow sales.
The 2010 RX-8 mixes flowing, organic lines with sharp, athletic angles. Its low stance and standard 18-inch alloys scream “speed”. Opt for the R3 and the “High Quality Dynamism” shines with contoured side skirts, a rear spoiler, and fog lights.
Standard across the RX-8 range are power windows and door locks, bucket sport seats, a leather wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, and air conditioning. Only the Grand Touring is available with a seven-inch touch LCD navigation system.
The Renesis (short for “rotary engine genesis”) engine outputs two levels of power depending on transmission choice: 212 horsepower and 158 pound-feet of torque with the six-speed automatic or 232 horsepower and 158 pound-feet when mated to the six-speed manual. Redline for the six-speed manual remains at 9000 rpm, while the automatic is limited to 7500 rpm.
Front, side, and curtain airbags are standard for driver and front passengers, as are an alarm with immobilizer, and anti-lock brakes with electronic brake distribution. Grand Touring and R3 trim levels add dynamic stability control.
16 mpg city/22 mpg highway (manual); 16 mpg city/23 mpg highway (automatic)
- Aggressive style Peppy rotary
- Sporty interior
- Agile handling
- Meager torque
- Poor fuel economy
- Burning oil
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