The Mazda RX-8 is a true four-seat sports car.With near perfect weight distribution, it has great balance and precise turn-in.Yet the suspension is soft enough for daily comfortable use.The small rotary engine loves to rev and puts out lots of power.Mazda's lightweight rotary engine is a key design element in producing this light, nimble, high-revving sports car.
In the real world, the RX-8 is a surprisingly practical daily driver.It's capable of taking the kids to soccer practice, with passenger space for four full-size adults.There's enough room for a weekend's worth of luggage or two full-size golf bags, and the small rear doors and relatively spacious trunk make trips to the home improvement center possible.It's not as roomy as a sedan, but it can move people and stuff when needed, while offer the driving experience of a two-seat sports car when it's just you and the open road.
The 2010 RX-8 is available in Sport and Grand Touring trim levels plus the R3, which features a sports suspension developed for serious enthusiasts.There are no significant changes for 2010, though the Touring model has been dropped.The RX-8 was substantially updated for 2009 with fresh styling, a more rigid structure and driveshaft, and revised rear suspension and gearing.The RX-8 was launched as an all-new model for 2004.
The RX-8 comes with a choice of six-speed manual or six-speed automatic with paddle shifters, and they are different cars.The manual benefits from 232 horsepower at 8500 rpm, while the automatic gets 212 hp at 7500 rpm.Both are rated at the same 159 pound-feet of torque at 5500 rpm.The bottom line is that the manual model is for driving enthusiasts willing to shift for themselves, and those seeking maximum efficiency.The automatic is for heavy stop-and-go commuters and drivers more interested in the look and feel of a sports car than in ultimate performance.
Overall, the RX-8 is an enjoyable sports car.With its smoother ride, smoother drivetrain, substantially larger cargo capability, and four-seat capacity, it's easier to live with than the Nissan Z.