Author Topic: RX-8 Test Drive Report  (Read 7835 times)

Offline Fish

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RX-8 Test Drive Report
« on: August 23, 2003, 08:18:17 PM »
OK, I had my drive at 12:00 today at TW Whites in Orpington. Upon arriving at the showroom, I am greeted by a nice blue RX-8. Get to have a look around it for 10 mins as the salesman is busy with the couple before me.

The one in the showroom is a Jap import, the titanium 8 that I am going to drive is a pre-production unit.

I get in, get comfortable and start the engine, funny little wispy note but think ok lets get driving.

Go to pull away and before I know it, STALLED. The clutch has no weight to it what so ever and ok it’s a different car, so the clutch changing is a little jumpy to start with.

Pull out of the dealers turn right, 100 yards and turn left on to a nice straight piece of road. Plodding along with the traffic, pull on to the A20 and start to build up the revs. OK no noise from the engine what so ever, I mean NOTHING!!! Revs build up very nicely to 4-4500 rpm without much effort, past that the engine just seemed really gutless whatever gear I was in and I had a choice of 6. The engine only had 2400 miles on it, but thinking that the great British motoring press has already been given a free hand in driving these, it should be a lot looser than how it felt. One nice bit was the fact that in forth gear I was doing around 1200 rpm and put my foot down. It pulled like an ice cube on a marble surface. It was so smooth.

The brakes where very positive, gear change was short(ish) but precise, visibility was not that good as you couldn’t see where the front and rear bumpers were. Dash is very clear, but I wonder if it could be distracting late at night on a long drive.

Moved the seat quite a way back and climbed in the rear seats, although a little tight getting in there was space to not be cramped, but I could get claustrophobic on a long trip, but then again kids don’t get a choice in the matter do they… ;) On nice touch was there was a centre console between the two seats, which was a little different.

Boot space, what boot space, it goes back a fair way but the floor is high, so space is sparse.

Seems a very nice well built, you can normally tell built quality by the shut of the door, and this had a nice solid feel to it.

Would I pay 22k for one, I don’t think so. I would need a proper test drive firstly, then see what power upgrades Mazda has released for it, then may be it would be worth a look again.

Mazda if you’re reading this, give me one for a couple of days and maybe I would change my mind and have one.

Dan






Offline Kevint

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RX-8 Test Drive Report
« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2003, 09:02:21 AM »
Nice write-up Dan.

I had my test drive at T W Whites, Milford branch, on Saturday.  They had 2 rx-8s, a titanium grey in the showroom and a velocity red as the test car.

Had a sit in the grey one which had a sunroof, I could just feel my head brushing the roof, I\'m 6ft tall.  Sat in the rear seat and there is more space than you\'d think, the rear has two individual seats which are very comfortable a little weird as you sit low with poor visibility out of the windows.  Boot is large for a sports car but small for a saloon, access to the boot is awkward.  A litre of 5W30 was tucked away in the corner of the boot.

On to the test car, it was the HiPower model with red/black interior, not to my taste.  This car had no sunroof and there was plenty of room for me up front.  The sat nav screen pops up from the dash when turned on - nice toy.

The clutch is very light but I found the other controls excellent, steering has a nice weight to it.  Went up the A3 to Guildford, car pulled nicely through the gears smoothly and so quietly, engine is quiet, suspension is quiet, no tyre noise, no air noise - if quiet is important to you than I doubt there is a quieter car for the money. My first impression was that the car is not that quick but because it is so quiet you don\'t have the same sensation of speed as in other cars - it\'s no FD but still fairly quick.  Went up to Guildford Cathedral onto concrete road surface, minimal tyre noise.  On the way back from Guildford managed a couple of miles on country roads, car felt very secure round corners and quick on the straights, just getting to like it and the test drive came to an end.

Would I buy one?  The answer for me is No, I have an FD for fun and an Escort as a daily drive.  I am looking to replace the Escort for something a bit more prestigious, will probably go for more practicality/space and less running cost by choosing a compact executive (3 series, A4 etc).

Thanks to T W Whites, Milford for allowing me the test drive.

Kevin

kenholland

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« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2004, 05:22:18 AM »
I work for a car hire Co and we\'ve recently been given an RX-8 to try out (courtesy of Exeter Mazda).

I drive an MX6 and, while it may be underpowered compared to your cars, it\'s one of the best driving experiences I\'ve ever had - remeber it\'s a cruiser, not a sportscar.  :)  Anyway, here are my thoughts on my test drive in the RX-8:

"Well, the RX-8 has arrived, so I took it for a 30 minutes test this lunchtime.

It\'s the 6-speed version, in silver on an \'04 plate.

After a leisurely drive on the B road to the dual carraigeway I felt that the car was warmed up enough to really try her out.  I found an open stretch with few cars about and put my foot down:  

I know it accelerated faster than the MX6 (eg, it pulled straight to 105+ in 4th very quickly) but unfortunately it didn\'t feel faster if you know what I mean.  Although the revs climbed very quickly, there was no seat-of-the-pants feeling of acceleration and the only way you got any sense of speed was by looking at the speedo. The revs aren\'t quite linear (there\'s a slight push in the back at about 6500 rpm) but almost so.  All in all, that engine is way too smooth for any real driving experience.

Inside seemed very plasticy - more so than I remember on the demo car I saw last year at Goodwood - and the windows are very high up. Door mirrors are bad and general visibility forwards and rearwards are not that good.

Although there are plenty of little storage areas, there isn\'t the space available that the 6 has and it felt cramped because of the large centre tunnel.  It felt as if you should be in a low sports car like a TVR or something, but so obviously weren\'t.

It\'s certainly different from anything else I\'ve driven, but not likeable enough to warrant getting one."

Overall, I\'m a bit disappointed. I won\'t be buying one.

Ken

Offline clive

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« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2004, 09:35:46 AM »
Hi Ken and welcome to MRC,

Shame you didn\'t enjoy your RX-8 experience, it\'s a shame you couldn\'t have got it near some bends to drive it quickly as this is where this car would  impress

This car was never designed to be a straight line stomper, but instead it has been built to travel 4 full sized adults around with a degree of fun not found in lots of other cars, making it a fun car and totally practical car .

Sadly lots of people believe this IS Mazda\'s next true sports car and a replacement for the RX-7, it\'s not!

If l were Nissan ATM, l would be real miffed at the comparison of  the RX-8 and their 350Z because unlike the Z the RX-8 is not destined to be Mazda\'s Front line sports car and there is a new RX-7 on the Drawing board.

Glenn (or chairman ), myself and other members of MRC had interviews with Mazda in 2001, and when questioned on whether we would ditch our RX-7\'s for the rumoured RX-8 it transpired that we told them exactly what they wished to hear, NO ( but we all agreed we would have one as well).

They wished to hear this as they did not wish this car to be aimed at a niche market but the mass market, something they have more than proved was a correct target for this car !!, besides their would have been no point in thinking of building a new RX-7 if they put their all into the RX-8 would there.

When l first asked Mazda if they were building and importing this new RX-8 and bringing it in to Europe the same way as they did with the 3rd Gen RX-7 (only 124 cars were sold in 5 years ) the poor bloke nearly fell of his chair!,
now we have had the run away success of the RX-8 with thousands sold, l now know why !!!!!!!!!!

:D :D :D :D :D

Pleased you like your MX-6 though, and maybe you would like to bring it along to park with other MX-6 owners at a very special Mazda  meeting we are hosting at Avon Park, please go to http://www.Rotorstock.com for details
All the best Clive

kenholland

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« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2004, 06:00:08 PM »
Thanks for the welcome Clive, it\'s always a bit daunting looking in on a new Board.  This seems to be a very knowledgeable place and I\'d like to lurk to glean as much info about the RX7 as I can if that\'s OK.
Quote
Originally posted by clive
there is a new RX-7 on the Drawing board.
I am so glad to hear that :)  I\'ve been looking around at RX7s as a possible replacement in a year or so (just as soon as the g/f forgives me for spending so much money and time on the MX6).

Quote
Pleased you like your MX-6 though, and maybe you would like to bring it along to park with other MX-6 owners at a very special Mazda meeting we are hosting at Avon Park, please go to http://www.Rotorstock.com for details
We had the invite on MX6.com but it seems to have slipped down the list a bit.  I\'ll bring it back to the top and see who else is interested too.  I think people sniffed a bit \'cos it looked as if the rotaries were just inviting us to make up the numbers.  Now things are organised, hopefully they can see differently and it\'ll be better received.  ;)

Regards,
Ken

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« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2004, 04:46:31 PM »
Very interesting!

Just thought I\'d add I\'ve ordered mine as a daily driver, not a toy - but as it turns out Mazda have come up with something that does both. This confirms what Clive is saying...

I wanted to find something fairly quick with solid handling because it\'s just too frustrating driving anything else after a weekend in me Z32 - and I wanted a high-revving NA for a bit of contrast with the TT. The RX8 is perfect for that AND you get four seats and a decent motorway package into the bargain. In fact I\'m lucky it came out this year - can\'t think of another (new) car I could have bought instead. The 350 is a GT lump - yes, it\'s NA, but the low redline and the sheer torque make it feel more like a turbo to drive anyway.

I think RX8 buyers are just buying a middlingly quick daily car - I think Mazda are winning sales from the Audi and 3-series market rather than the 350 market, if you see what I mean. I also think a lot of people have bought it because it\'s unusual, and it\'s their first 200bhp+ car almost by accident.

Offline Shark

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say what??
« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2004, 08:16:06 PM »
Quote
the RX-8 is not destined to be Mazda\'s Front line sports car and there is a new RX-7 on the Drawing board


Clive,
This is fantastic news!  :cool
Do you have any more info or any ideas of project timelines from Mazda?

I\'m sure I\'m not the only one that\'s excited by the prospect of this.  I confess I\'m more than a little curious about how they can improve on the FD design, but I\'ll be very interested to see what they come up with.....

Gregor
Gregor
\'94 Hiace "Super Custom" | \'96 RX-7
[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

RX7 sold :(

Offline clive

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« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2004, 10:02:50 PM »
Hi Gregor,

  Rumour 1/ has it that two years ago Mazda  decided that if there was ever to be another RX-7, the RX-8 would need to be a successful high volume selling car, l will let you all be the judge of the answer to that one!

Rumour 2/ has it that the new RX-7 is probably 3 to 4 years away and will feature an enlarged Twin Rotor engine to propel it quickly !.

Rumour 3 / there will be a new RX-3, i.e. a small 2 door coupe.

In 2001 Glenn and myself heard and believed in a little Rumour! and we formed Mazdarotaryclub.com, with a name that would give all Rotary enthusiasts a home.

That little Rumour was about the RX-8, and a lot of people were convinced at the time that it was only a Rumor !!.

 
:) :) :)
All the best Clive

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« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2004, 08:58:38 AM »
All the best Clive

zevans

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« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2004, 02:33:35 PM »
Interesting link Clive!

Imagine an Elise / VX220 style car with a rotary in :cool :yes

Zip

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And what a car !
« Reply #10 on: May 26, 2004, 02:50:40 PM »
I agree with the comments above about the middleish type car the RX-8 is.

I wanted a bit of power, motorway drivability & 4 seats (family etc) & what do you know - the RX-8 was on the street :-).

I\'ve now had this beauty for 1 week, done 1000 miles and I just can\'t stop grinning :D  It;s getting better & easier to drive both as a gentle ride & as a bit of fun.

Confession time - my previous car was a merc E-class auto (2.2CDi) so anything would have been more exciting !

Zip