I’ve had my first experience of driving the new RX-8. Thanks to the friendly people at SG Petch in Durham for the opportunity to experience the most exciting drive I’ve had in ages. I’ve driven faster cars (eg WRX STI the difference is marginal unless you gonna go throwing it around a test track) but few as exciting, if for nothing else other than the sound the engine makes.
I drove a Titanium Grey 6-speed version. I agree with the previous posts, the clutch does take some getting used too. After about two minutes I was familiar enough to enjoy the drive.
As the RX-8 is now famed for its lack of torque, I was worried that the drive was going to be a disappointment. That feeling was short lived though, as the RX-8 pulled smoothly in every gear with the exception of 6th where acceleration didn’t occur rapidly at all, hardly surprising as 6th gear isn’t made for overtaking. I didn’t get 6th gear up above 3000rpm though so it may improve with higher revs.
I took the RX-8 out on the A1, the onramp has two lanes, the right one was clear. I exploited this by putting my foot firmly to the floor in first gear. It rewarded me by putting me firmly back in the extremely comfortable leather seat. By the time I had to slow down I was doing 104MPH
and had just changed into 4th (3rd peaks at about 95). There is none of the turbo-lag of the STI or EVO, it’s just gloriously smooth acceleration. And the sound is amazing, it’s absent until the motor spins above 3000rpm and then it becomes a glorious sound which is indescribable (at least by me). It makes me wonder why mazda put a BOSE sound system in, when you could spend your time listening to that Rotary marvel. It doesn’t seem to sound strained like a normal engine when it approaches the redline, it just seems to be happier when it’s being revved.
After putting the car into 6th at 76mph, the sounds that could be heard were the faint rumble of the tyres and soft sounds of the wind passing rapidly by but no engine could be heard. I then left the A1 and drove through some windy roads, which I know reasonably well. So I had the chance to throw the mazda into one particularly enticing corner, that dips as it bends away to the right, at a speed that made the salesman with me grip his seat with knuckles turning white.
The RX-8 was not phased at all, if anything it seemed to make that bend a bit mundane. The brakes are excellent every bit as good as others I have driven. The ride doesn’t make you feel like you gonna need a kidney transplant either, it’s not phased by our excellent quality potholes.
It’s great to drive, it looks great, it sounds great, it’s practical, it costs £22000 How did they do it? :god
Will I be buying one…. umm it’s already ordered, make mine a 6-speed Velocity red with red/black leather thank you. Now all I have to do is wait till damn December/January. :reallymad
Once again thanks to the friendly folks at SG Petch in Durham for the drive.