2011 Mazda RX-8 Grand Touring, an AutoWeek Drivers Log Car Review

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2011 Mazda RX-8 Grand Touring Photo by: David Arnouts 2011 Mazda RX-8 Grand Touring. Photo by David Arnouts.

2011 Mazda RX-8 Grand Touring Photo by: David Arnouts 2011 Mazda RX-8 Grand Touring. Photo by David Arnouts.

2011 Mazda RX-8 Grand Touring Photo by: David Arnouts 2011 Mazda RX-8 Grand Touring. Photo by David Arnouts.

2011 Mazda RX-8 Grand Touring Photo by: David Arnouts 2011 Mazda RX-8 Grand Touring. Photo by David Arnouts.

2011 Mazda RX-8 Grand Touring Photo by: David Arnouts 2011 Mazda RX-8 Grand Touring. Photo by David Arnouts.

2011 Mazda RX-8 Grand Touring Photo by: David Arnouts 2011 Mazda RX-8 Grand Touring. Photo by David Arnouts.

2011 Mazda RX-8 Grand Touring Photo by: David Arnouts 2011 Mazda RX-8 Grand Touring. Photo by David Arnouts.

2011 Mazda RX-8 Grand Touring Photo by: David Arnouts 2011 Mazda RX-8 Grand Touring. Photo by David Arnouts.

2011 Mazda RX-8 Grand Touring Photo by: David Arnouts 2011 Mazda RX-8 Grand Touring. Photo by David Arnouts.

2011 Mazda RX-8 Grand Touring Photo by: David Arnouts 2011 Mazda RX-8 Grand Touring. Photo by David Arnouts.

2011 Mazda RX-8 Grand Touring Photo by: David Arnouts 2011 Mazda RX-8 Grand Touring. Photo by David Arnouts.

Published on 7/20/2011

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INTERACTIVE ASSOCIATE EDITOR JAKE LINGEMAN: I love as,at the same occasion as small Mazda RX-8s--perfect dimension for a little guy similar to me. There's high-quality authority as of the rotary, and add a few additional horses by means of the physical transmission, and all is well.

It is a small little in,within since of the authority seats. Mac supposed he couldn't still fit in it, and my skull was perilously shut to the roof, still in the lowest position. That said, the seats are at ease and healthy bolstered. The few cloverleaf interchanges I quick had me emotion tightly planted in the seat and on the road.

This car has so as to sweet rotary sound, too. I quick the street from side to side the tunnel on my way rear to work, now so I might perceive sound it echoing. I'm not leaving to say it sounded similar to a Formula One car, but it had a extremely racy note. I may contain still left from side to side twice.

The gearbox is awesome, tight and mechanical. The fling is short, and the triangle-shaped shifter large high-quality in the palm. The parking brake is in the good put correct after that to it.

It seemed to go from side to side gasoline quickly, but the intended standard is approximately 22 mpg on my tank, by means of a group of leadfooters driving, so I deduction it's OK.

One of the coolest lesser is, at what time the engine is cold, the tach has red markings eager on the 6,000s. When it stay warmer, it moves rear to 7,000, after that on one occasion it's all the way warm, it moved rear to 9,000. It's a high-quality reminder so as to the rotary shouldn't be abused at what time it's not warmed up.

I liked the R3 version so as to we had preceding to better, but petroleum is motionless a fun small ride.

ART DIRECTOR CHERYL L. BLAHNIK: It's person's name a as,at the same time as as,because I've person's name in an RX-8, but I rapidly got at ease following trial the characteristic engine note as of the rotary.

The essential plan hasn't changed as,because petroleum car customer by means of the bolstered wheel wells. I believe Mazda might contain pulled off a sportier seem by means of additional subtle and cleaner lines. The center is neat by means of a spacious-enough rear seat simple to get to via the suicide doors.

Like Jake, I'm a fan of the small throws in the shifter so as to create the RX-8 sense similar to a factual presentation machine. The suspension and snappy steering reply too help.

EXECUTIVE EDITOR--AUTOWEEK.COM BOB GRITZINGER: An overnight in petroleum RX-8 corporation rear a flood of high-quality memories of our old long-termer, a silver-gray 2004 Mazda RX-8 so as to gave us a day of rotary joy. There are extremely few cars in general, and still fewer at petroleum cost point, so as to provoke the similar type of aural delight as the RX-8 at 8,000 rpm. The downside is that's anywhere the car is at its best--running in the higher rev variety to sketch as a great deal torque and authority as likely as of the 1.3-liter twin rotary. Down underneath 5,000 rpm, there's not a lot of punch available.

As extended as you stay so as to in mind, and drive accordingly, the RX-8 is blast to zip approximately in. The steering is super-precise and responsive, the chassis is balanced, the brakes are strong, the shifter and heavy place (at smallest amount for petroleum five-foot-10-incher) is near-perfect--all high-quality attributes for flinging petroleum car approximately on tarmac or a nice part of gravel rear road. The car is approximately intuitive in drive character, as in anywhere you believe you desire it go is precisely anywhere it goes.

Toss in the sharply creased front fenders so as to mimic a number of of the world's most sports education cars new and old, the additional set of doors and approximately usable rear seat, and the RX-8 is a winner for persons who require to nourish completely heavy passion with no creation too a lot of compromises.

You may not consider everything you just read to be crucial information about BMW. But don't be surprised if you find yourself recalling and using this very information in the next few days.

NEWS EDITOR GREG MIGLIORE: I absolutely love the Mazda RX-8. It's one of the the majority fun cars for the cash on the market. All of the specs measure up to my present perfectly. The restrain heaviness of approximately 3,000 pounds, the horsepower output of 232 and the easy and sharp six-gear physical broadcast all create for an adrenaline-inducing experience.

The layout of the RX-8 is too close to perfect. It large flat, evenly weighted and is tailored for excited heavy shut to the ground and at the limit. As route note, petroleum rotary 1.3-liter is a hoot, raw and impressive yet simple to command and prepared for steady action. I absent it in next cog and hammered all the way to redline, loving the aural pleasures and sound of the acoustic profits as the revs built.

The steering is weighted nicely, and petroleum lithe sports education car is seldom upset. Only an sudden lane alter resulted in a touch of nerves, and still then, that's at what time I was actually tossing the car. The cabin is well-laid out by means of surprisingly high-quality lesser and finishes.

The corpse and styling hang on petroleum car perfectly, similar to an important person engineered the chassis to drive sportily and after that devised an suitable skin by means of strength and bulges. If we might get petroleum for the long-term fleet, I'd be overjoyed.

EXECUTIVE EDITOR ROGER HART: This leftovers one of the the majority excellent chassis on any car liberally today, and the steering--with its quick, straight response--is just outstanding. And as,at the same time as as of a pure technological basis, I love the idea of the rotary engine and its inquisitiveness moving parts, petroleum car counting be so a great deal additional fun by means of 100 additional horsepower. Granted, no substance which you can rev to 9,000 rpm is fun, but the small rotary runs has nothing downward low and rapidly runs out of oomph are you go,shift toward the redline.

Having supposed that, the RX-8 has astonishing throttle response, a terrific gearbox and outstanding brakes. And as I supposed before, petroleum is one of the premium neutral-handling sports education cars built. It now wants additional . . well, we be acquainted with come again? it needs. This is motionless a terrific car.

MOTORSPORTS EDITOR MAC MORRISON: Those of you questioning consequences the RX-8 petroleum mileage is “OK” require to appraisal our long-term RX8 reports as of a few existence back. Drive petroleum Mazda hard--and as noted, you attractive a great deal contain to--and you can literally see the fuel-tank needle go,shift downward preceding to by means of extremely eyes. It's the cost you pay for petroleum drivetrain. You now require to be conscious of come again? you're receiving at what time you go in on an RX-8. With a 16.9-gallon gasoline tank, the journey variety in recognized by petroleum stops isn't extremely extended at what time the car's returning 15 mpg or, often, less.

Along by means of that, all else concerning the car is now as I keep in mind it as of the old long-term examination machine. Except in petroleum examination car, as Jake mentioned, the mixture of the moonroof and the authority driver's seat complete it hard for me to fit and not possible to discover a heavy place I in fact liked. I'm six-foot-one, not six-six, so don't believe I'm a giant, either. I was fairly astonished as I climbed aboard to discover out petroleum problem, and it was important sufficient for me to think leaving the car at the back in favor of also amazing else or calling a cab for the ride home. So tall(ish) drivers be hypothetical to be conscious of petroleum issue, particularly if you contain any consideration of organization the RX-8 on a racetrack. There is absolutely no way I might fit in petroleum car, as equipped, as,at the same time as wearing a helmet. Zero chance.

There is abundance of cause to get the RX-8 to the track, too. It leftovers one of the the majority well-balanced cars on the market, thanks a great deal to the Renesis rotary engine's little dimension and glow weight, and how so as to intended Mazda to rise it so far rear and low in the chassis. Grip custom are just remarkable, and driven very firm on rear roads, the car doesn't appear prone to also understeer or oversteer. It now large wildly unbiased all through a diversity of corners.

That's it's genuine saving grace to petroleum day, as I discover the styling--odd at the majority excellent at what time proof knowledge existence ago--now borders on dated wackiness, and the few existence I've person's name absent as of petroleum car contain not complete me any fonder of the Renesis's be small of of torque and no substance which resembling a physically powerful punch at what time you mallet down. I'm too a bit astonished so as to in all as,at the same occasion as years, Mazda hasn't refined come again? I speed as an standard synchronization recognized by shifter and grasp action. The RX-8's setup construct it simple to introduce slight lurches eager on by means of shifts no substance how high-quality you are by means of a physical transmission.

ASSOCIATE EDITOR JONATHAN WONG: Everyone has summed up petroleum car attractive healthy above. As the occupant rotary enthusiast at petroleum time at AutoWeek, I'm more often than not the primary one to bound onto the soapbox to sing praise for petroleum car. It's type of nice to contain a figure of additional staffers get mind of so as to preceding to I had to.

Without question, petroleum chassis is one of the the majority excellent in the business. There is so a great deal composure in corners, and it determination obey virtually any command you provide it. Point, shoot and you're there. No surprise and forever neutral.

Mac scarcity the lightweight and compact dimensions of the rotary engine itself existence form one of the major from surface to side for the car's stellar handling, and he's right. The engine is approximately the dimension of a semi keg and is set extremely far rear and low in the chassis for high-quality heaviness distribution. The suspension on petroleum Grand Touring replica isn't as sporty as the R3, but it motionless fake a huge job of keeping it linked to the street and isn't overly cruel as of a ride-quality standpoint.

In a number of eyes, the rotary engine is too the feeble tip of the car, and I can see anywhere persons folks are pending from. Its seemingly unquenchable thirst for fuel, its tendency to be on fire oil (by design) and its dreaded be small of of low-end punch are pale amalgamation points. However, the upsides are too undeniable, too, by means of the aforementioned heaviness savings, compact packaging, insane throttle response, its free-revving nature by means of a 9,000-rpm redline, smooth operation and the instantly recognizable engine note.

I've supposed it preceding to and I'll say it again: It a exacting being to similar to and desire to own one of as,at the same occasion as engines. Those charitable for low-end thrust off the row require not be relevant here. Weekend road-course soldiers determination love the stratospheric redline and response. Combine so as to by means of the huge chassis, receptive and well-weighted steering, slick-shifting physical gearbox, physically powerful brakes and well-placed pedals, it's a killer combo for an important person charitable for a car able of existence form tracked and offering practicality by means of seating for four and respectable stem room (but by means of a thin opening).

Here's come again? construct me sad: I contain a emotion so as to petroleum is the previous day of manufacture for the RX-8, and by means of the 16X motionless not ready, present determination be one more downward era recognized by the end of the RX-8 and the after that rotary-powered car--kind of the similar to recognized by 1995 and 2003, construct was the occasion border recognized by the end of the third-generation RX-7's U.S. existence and the debut of the RX-8.

Rumors say so as to the Mazda is charitable to get the rotary and combine it by means of a hybrid system, construct I believe counting be a shame. One obsession is for sure: I'm by no means letting go of my 1994 Mazda RX-7 R2.

2011 Mazda RX-8 Grand Touring

Base Price: $33,055

As-Tested Price: $33,055

Drivetrain: 1.3-liter rotary; RWD, six-speed manual

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

Curb Weight: 3,065 lb

Fuel Economy (EPA/AW): 18/17.8 mpg

Options: None

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