Discussion in 'Odds & Ends' started by FD3S, Nov 3, 2012.
Because I'm highly persuasive.
There was a Mazdaspeed RX-9...?
Speaking of the RX-7:
These two articles are absolutely fantastic. Not only do they perfectly highlight why the FD is so highly revered, they also don't hold back in listing the flaws that would disqualify it for a large number of people. To quote one of the commenters:
"My black 1994 RX-7 was cramped, temperamental, unpredictable (turbo + no TC = sideways), and blew through two turbos and 1 tire and wheel in 9,000 miles.
And it was the best sports car I have ever owned. Period."
Jeremy Clarkson reached the same conclusion regarding the Corvette ZR1 and why he would buy it over the Audi R8 V10.
I mean, you don't buy a pure sports car because it makes the most sense, because it doesn't make sense to buy a pure sports car to begin with.
When you have disposable cash to buy a car, buy the one that makes the least amount of sense because it'll give you the highest amount of fun.
I know it's been almost three years and thread necromancy is generally frowned upon, but:
NEW RWD ROTARY CONCEPT FROM MAZDA
AND IT'S GORGEOUS
THIS IS A GOOD DAY
Ahhh, the rotary engine: patent expired a long time ago and yet nobody seems to want to build cars with it. Why? Because it is inefficient garbage with no discernible advantage. Mazda has this history of dead-end engineering whereby they announce a breakthrough and then just as quickly abandon it. We saw it some years ago when they touted the Miller Cycle engine in the Millenia sedan, then dropped it within a year.
In terms of objective benefits for street cars, you're actually bang on. I've yet to meet an RX enthusiast who champions the Wankel as a better alternative to the piston engine in any way shape or form - it burns oil, drinks gas, and doesn't deal with neglect all that well.
Of course, the trade-off is the phenomenal driving experience (butter smooth throughout the entire gear range, handles like a car that's significantly more expensive and exotic), something that goes hand in hand with the rotary's size and power to weight ratio, arguably the main factor that conventional piston engines will never match. In a way, it's the ideal racing engine more than anything else; the comparative lack of moving parts and constant rebuilding/maintenance make its Achilles heel of reliability a virtual non-factor on the track, plus there's the obscene power it gets compared to its actual displacement.
The real question is; is one willing to put up with all of the engine's quirks for the sake of the unique drive it offers? To be honest, for most people the answer is no, which is why I hope they make this incarnation of the RX into a halo car as opposed to a mass market sports car. There are way too many RX-7s and 8s that were doomed from the start because their owners couldn't take five minutes to read a manual or keep the oil topped up.
The rotary engine in the RX-8 turned out to be a gas mileage and reliability disaster.
Nothing to with neglect. The engines were made of cheese and needed a full rebuild at 50k even when fully serviced, topped up regularly etc. The car became practically worthless on the used market as a result.
It's a concept car. Nothing like that is going to go into production. And nobody with any sense will touch a RX-9 with a rotary engine.
When most people look at sports car purchases, "sense" is usually not one of the driving factors, especially if the car happens to look as gorgeous as this concept.
Gas mileage is awful with the Wankel. That goes without saying. That said, most of the failures on the RX-8s came from the first generation of the RENESIS - saying that block certainly had problems would be an understatement (the ECU needed reflashes galore, for starters), and compounding it were the automatic models only having one oil cooler instead of two, a tremendously stupid decision considering how rotaries dislike excessive heat. The 2009 and on models fixed all those issues, with the failure rates being astronomically lower. Plus, the choice of oil really does matter - to quote someone else on the subject:
"For those who are familiar with the regular rotary heads on the various forums, the weak link in the Renesis, as with all rotaries, is the apex seal, and the potential for problems in this regard can be dramatically reduced by using a appropriate weight oil, keeping the oil filled towards the high end of the dipstick at all times, and regularly flushing and filling the coolant, which all help to ward off heat related issues and ensure proper lubrication of the rotary internals (many of the long time rotary-heads premix, too, and that’s a carryover practice from the days of the RX-7)."
I'd look again on the used market. The RX-8s selling for dirt cheap are generally from the 04-08 run before the 09 makeover, and for good reason.
I get that it's not a car for the mainstream, but let's face it; if you love the rotary driving feel you're not getting it from anywhere else (shifting at 7000+ RPM as a part of maintenance? Yes, please!), and I'd like to see what Mazda's got in store for a potential RX successor. Who knows? The SkyActiv-R could just be straight-up marketing BS, or they might have something of substance with this new incarnation. I just love how in the background, with the Miata and Mazda 3/6 at the forefront of their brand, their engineers are still tinkering away with the rotary, the little engine that could. Zoom zoom.
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