Steering feel, a Mazda RX-8 hallmark, along with incredible balance (another RX-8 trait) and spectacular shift quality – something Mazda always offers – helps make a sporting car great. Indeed, the Mazda RX-8 is a quick car with wonderful steering, incredible balance, and a near-perfect transmission. But the torqueless rotary is not only weak compared to the RX-8’s most avid foe; it’s also terribly inefficient.
In a year where Nissan is completely overhauling the 350Z and turning it into the 332-horsepower Nissan 370Z, a car that may be lighter and will definitely be faster with better-handling, Mazda tinkered with the RX-8. The horsepower differential stands at 100. Torque figures for the $31,930 RX-8 R3 are 13 lb-ft lower than that of the 370Z’s little brother, the Sentra SE-R. No, not the Sentra SE-R Spec V, just the piddling SE-R.
Despite a great degree of admiration for the RX-8 then, The Good Car Guy must speak out before the RX-8 becomes a quaint section of all the new car buyer’s guides for the next four years. Something must be done. Horsepower isn’t everything; but it’s awfully vital. And while every RX-8 owner surely enjoys everything about their car (fuel efficiency excepted), potential RX-8 owners will surely be turned on by the 370Z’s amazingly powerful V6 and two impressive transmission choices.