The heart of the Mazda RX-8 is its high-revving, 1.3-liter rotary engine called the Renesis. It's a made-up word: The "R" and the "e" stand for "Rotary engine," while "nesis" comes from the word "genesis." Odd name aside, the Renesis engine is an impressive bit of engineering: Unlike its forebears, it locates the exhaust ports on the side of each of the combustion chambers, rather than on the outer edge of the rotary housing. Sounds simple, but this one change allows for more power, higher fuel economy and lower emissions.
Because of the engine's compact size, engineers were able to mount it farther back in the RX-8's chassis, giving the car a coveted 50/50 front/rear weight distribution. This, along with balanced suspension tuning, sharp steering and a svelte 3,000-pound curb weight, makes the rear-wheel-drive RX-8 one of the best-handling cars on the market. However, the car's power is a bit lacking; newer competitors provide considerably more oomph.
Current Mazda RX-8
The Mazda RX-8 is a four-seat coupe with a pair of rear-hinged "suicide" doors that ease access to the rear seats. Every RX-8 is powered by a 1.3-liter twin rotary engine, with an output that depends on the transmission. The six-speed manual version produces 232 horsepower at a stratospheric 9,000 rpm, and is capable of a 0-60 run in about 6 seconds. The six-speed automatic gets 212 hp and a redline of 7,500 rpm. All RX-8s have a rather paltry 152 pound-feet of torque, which means you have to hold the rotary engine on the boil to keep the car lively. Therefore, we'd suggest only buying an RX-8 with the manual.
There are three trim levels available: Sport, Grand Touring and R3. Even the base car comes well equipped with 18-inch wheels, performance tires, cruise control, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and a six-speaker CD stereo with an auxiliary audio jack. The Grand Touring gets a limited-slip rear differential, automatic xenon headlights, a power driver seat, memory functions, heated seats, leather upholstery, automatic climate control, keyless ignition/entry, a Bose stereo, Bluetooth and a navigation system. The R3 is a high-performance variant packing 19-inch wheels, an aggressively tuned suspension, Recaro sport seats, exterior body modifications and some of the other trims' high-tech convenience features.
Although the Mazda RX-8 has the look of a race-tuned sports car, its demeanor on the road is considerably more docile. Its ample grip through corners and solid feedback through the steering wheel make it an absolute riot on a serpentine road, yet a compliant ride means that it won't beat you up on the daily commute. The rotary engine requires high engine speeds to make serious power, but the delivery is virtually vibration-free and noise levels are subdued. If you like a smooth engine (in feel, sound and delivery), the RX-8's is second to none.
Inside, the RX-8's innovative two-person backseat and suicide half-doors provide the sort of practicality no other sport coupe can match. Provided they're shorter than 6 feet tall, those seated in the back will find supportive seating and ample room. Overall, the RX-8 is one of the best examples of a car that's both fun to drive and very livable on a day-to-day basis. Just be prepared to pay at the pump, as the high-revving rotary swills fuel like an SUV.
Price for Mazda RX-8 RM 233,699.00
For more info go to Mazda.com.my