Originally Posted by Torres
I used to have an RX-8. Nice car but its greatest downfall was the engine. Horrendeous fuel economy, used 1l oil every 1,000 miles, non-existent torque at the bottom of the rev range, had a tendancy to flood over very short distances. Also heard from various owners clubs that the engines needed to be rebuilt at 70-80k miles. I'm not sure what benefits there are to the rotary design as there seem to be more disadvantages than advantages.
Mainly power/weight ratio, smooth response through the entire range and the fact that most Wankels are quite honestly robust if maintained properly due to less moving parts. Shorter total lifespan (though I've seen some rotaries well over 100000 K with no rebuild), but if the owner's careful and takes care of it the engine's got a very good shot of making it to the end of that lifespan.
Of course, thinking back to all the rotary horror stories I've heard the 'proper maintenance' thing doesn't happen too often. There are a lot of people out there for whom putting in a quart of oil every so often proved to be a bridge too far :P
I can see why the redlining thing would be an annoyance though, especially for a DD.