EDITORS NOTEBOOK: 2008 Mazda RX 8 40th Anniversary Ed,Day 4

Read Marc Noordeloos’s comments on driving the 2008 Mazda RX-8 40th Anniversary Edition.

A practical and unique sports car for not a lot of cash (base version) versus a huge lack of torque mixed with some cheap feeling details. That’s my thoughts on the RX-8. For around $32,000 (our test car), I’m not that into the RX-8. But the base car is $27,000 and that makes more sense to me. Name another real sports car that can handle two car seats in the back? That said, I still have issues with the Mazda. The fuel and oil consumption is horrible and I don’t find the structure very solid. There is a surprising amount of creeks and rattles as well as suspension noise over our rough roads.;

I also find the interior a bit cheap feeling and some of the styling is a bit busy. Plus, there is very little headroom. The seats feel like they are mounted far too high.;

I remember really enjoying the car on the track last summer despite the fact that it felt like it could handle a ton more power. I then used it for a family hauler over a hot and humid weekend. The car felt like it had about 50 hp with four people on board and the A/C running on high. Sure, a 3-rotor motor would be great but it would drink fuel like a big block.

In the end, I’m wondering if the modern concern with emissions and fuel consumption will finally kill the rotary motor. It would be a shame. I think Mazda should have one last fling and give us a Miata coupe with a tuned rotary engine to about 250 hp. That would be a fun way to say goodbye to the crazy rotating engine.