Last post on Mar 13, 2012 at 4:42 PM
You are in the Mazda RX-8
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Mazda RX-8, Coupe
#2943 of 3618 Re: PS My Mazda salesman told me .... [lhess]
Oct 11, 2005 (5:42 pm)
A quick Google of "car price trends" the first hit is
and has this for 2004: November 22, 2004
"Last month, the sales-weighted average new vehicle sticker price was $30,371, $268 higher than in September 2004 and $704 higher than in October 2003. The sales-weighted average net price was $25,750, $933 higher than in September 2004 and $518 higher than in October 2003."
On a historical note, the Model T's stunning break through had everything to do with getting the Average American to buy what had been up to that time, the most unimaginable luxury of all, an automobile. Most American's simply believed cars, not that much more expensive, than the Model T were only for the rich. Ford's trick was to convince his own workers through outrageous standards of pay for that time, to buy their own goods. What really took over after that was the pure consumer lust by tens of thousands of middle managers in Banking and Retail industries who were pissed off that Ford factory works could buy cars.
There were much better cars than the Model T at the time, but the consumer mass opinion snubbed those other cars as to expensive. So then Ford's mass appeal largely killed the custom car business. Of course, Ford didn't do much innovation at first and that lack of innovation nearly killed the company just a few years later, which had fallen behind other companies that made innovative and economically appealing products.
Jumping to the current market, the RX-8 rotary engine is a bit to innovative for the Average American, a four seater sports car simply can't be believed or practical, and the gas millage numbers put up by the insanely complex hybrid cars and SUVs have completely blinded folks to the math of gas vs car price. (A 100% increase in the price of gas over 4-5 years is way less than financing the extra 20% price increase in a hybrid car over 4-5 years.)
If the beauty of the Renesis rotary engine design, the wow of the RX-8 classic body, and the pure fun of driving that high rev engine through tight turns with your whole family in the car too, doesn't do the trick for ya, then you've got bucks to burn or you'd best be checking yourself for a pulse.
Bring on the Hydrogen Renesis RX-8 and maybe the mass appeal numbers will kick in.
#2944 of 3618 haven't stopped by in a while.....
Oct 12, 2005 (7:04 am)
Glad to see the RX8 owners are alive and well.
Having owned one of the first RX8s to hit these shores (and subsequently having it demolished by a RAM), it's good to see people still discussing this innovative car.
This past weekend, I saw an ad in the local newspaper stating "$7K off" any RX8. Curious, I wanted to see what others were expereincing and why the drop in prices.
Yes, the RX8 is a quirky little number. It can handle with the best of cars out there (short of the exotics). Yes, you can fit 4 people in it.
I think the competition has raised the bar over the past couple of years. While the closest competitor, the 350Z, has raised HP and interior quality, Mazda really hasn't made any significant updates to the RX8. First, the HP fiasco came out when it was first released. While this didn't bother me as much, a lot was made of it (and I eventually took the $500 plus free maintenance deal Mazda offered).
Then the whole issue of "flooding" came to light. Again, this wasn't an issue for me, but Mazda really does need to put stronger batteries in the car.
Most who came into the "rotary head" world hadn't owned a rotary before. They weren't used to having to (horrors!!!!) check the oil. I've always believed it to be just good car maintenance procedure to check the oil every 2nd or 3rd fillup. But, engines have become so maintenance free (at least piston engines), that people didn't think it was something they needed to do.
There was a general perception that a 1.3L engine should get good MPG. Mazda didn't do themselves any favors by stating that the RX8 pre-production models would get 30 MPG as well as have 250 HP. As we know, none of that happened. It's still a mystery (at least it is to me) why Mazda had to "detune" the RENESIS because of cat converter longevity....before they even sold any here.
Add to that, there was the A/C issue....that is, it wasn't very strong. Plus, some heat disapaited into the cabin from the drivetrain tunnel. That didn't help matters.
Now that I'm on the outside looking in, I believe all of the above conspired to make people shy away from the RX8.
My ownership experience was exemplary. Mazda took care of any concerns I had (although it was a bit frustrating to keep taking the car back to the dealership to reflash the ECU all the time and to "fix" A/C issues, oil pan issues, etc).
All that said, if a potential owner knows of all the above, and adjusts their thinking a bit, they'll be rewarded with a car that handles, rides among the best in the sports car world. It's a quick car (although, I wouldn't consider it truly "fast").
I don't know what Mazda's plans are for the RX8. If there is to be a 2nd gen RX8, Mazda has to first, exorcise it from the bugaboos mentioned (nothing they can do about oil consumption given the rotary's inherent design). They need to boost HP either by super/turbo charging, or by adding rotors. The 350Z has upped the ante to 300HP. The RX8 doesn't have to hit that number (since it's lighter), but they do have to show some improvements over where they are today.
All-in-all, the RX8 is still a unique car with unique capabilities.
#2945 of 3618 graphicguy .... very nice .... and I agree ....
Oct 12, 2005 (7:31 am)
I liked the looks of the rx8 when it was a concept car and then it became a reality and I wanted one. Held off from buying because I had just made a car purchase, but started reading up on the car. Owners were doing all this complaining about the car - oil consumption (that's really a bad thing), flooding, and on and on. Wrote the car off for a while. But I had a Mitsu and every time I took it in to my dealer for whatever, I looked those 8's over very good (Mitsu/Mazda dealer) and still really liked it. So, I started asking the salesmen and the service guys about all the "bad" things.
They assured me that oil consumption was normal and that the flooding problem was better with updates to the car and not that bad when you know how to handle it. So, March 2005, I bought one. I knew alot about the car before I bought it and have had no surprises. However, had I been one of the ones to grab one when they became available, I may have very well been unhappy with the "quirks" of the car.
I know this is too long already but a really funny story... my salesman told me that when the cars first arrived on the lot, they wanted the "perfect" spot for them on the lot. So, they move them all to one area on the lot and shut them off. Then, folks start arriving to drive them and almost none of them would start. They had no idea they would flood like they did. The service guys gave them a lesson on proper warm-up and got them all running!! I can just imagine all these guys standing around "How the heck are we gonna sell these things, they won't even start!!"
#2946 of 3618 Re: graphicguy .... very nice .... and I agree .... [lhess]
Oct 12, 2005 (8:29 am)
Styling is what gets people into the showroom and on a test drive. The 9K RPM and the "indy car" sound the RENESIS makes usually seals the deal. Throw in the high handling capabilities, and the RX8 makes for a compelling sports car.
Most (like you) who do some research, and know what to expect, are usually pleased with the car.
But (there's always one of those), having been able to stand back and take a look at the sports car entries over the last couple of years, shows how far some of the RX8's competition has come. I mentioned the 350Z. While I wouldn't trade the RX8's combination of "ride vs handling" for the Z's, 300HP makes up for a lot of "cost cutting" that Nissan had to do with the interior and suspension.
Expanding the RX8's competitors....you can look at the WRX (getting a bit long in the tooth), Mitsu EVO (really "cut rate" materials and performance geared to the fast & furious crowd)...even the Mustang GT (my current ride) and the Pontiac GTO (slow sales that doesn't look to have much of a future) and it becomes clear that a new dawn of HP "wars" has begun. Even with $3/gal gas, HP seems to be regaining significance in the performance car world.
When I bought my RX8, I paid $30K for it.....and was lucky to get that deal. Now, even with major deals to be had with the RX8, it's clear that Mazda has to do something to revive sales. I don't know if there will be any major changes to the '06 models. There was a rumor a year or so ago that there might be a reborn RX7 (with 300 HP) or a redone RX8 (again with 300 HP). Don't know if that rumor ever panned out.
I don't know if Mazda ever got the "flooding issue" sorted out for '05 models, either.
You obviously know what you've got with your RX8. That goes a long way towards adding to the enjoyment of a very unique car. My biggest frustration when talking to others here and elsewhere were the complaints about flooding, oil useage, and MPG. A little reseach would have gone a long way in setting correct expectations by those folks.
Mazda can and should do more to address those same issues, however. With all the ECU reflashes, it sounds like they were taking more of a "band-aid" approach to those complaints rather than to come up with a permanent fix.
Still, I miss my RX8. After mine was totalled, I toyed with the idea of getting another one. But, as they say, that ship has sailed.
Oct 12, 2005 (9:07 am)
The 2006 automatic will be a 6 speed, keeping the paddle shifters. It will also have more HP, but we're not sure yet if this is due to tuning the "low power" 4 port or using the "high power" 6 port engine the manual has. I'm a manual trans. fanatic, but this is tempting!
No word yet on changes to the manual trans. model.
The reflashes have now settled down. They have pretty much got the air/fuel where they want it. Changes now are mainly operational. Remember, this car is one of the most integrated electronic cars on the market - so they can change braking, steering, etc. with PCM reflashes. I still have trouble believing this, when I look at how simple the PCM is (physically - I get to study it from time to time).
One exciting developement - there is now a prototype 2 door being shown in auto shows. Is this the next RX-7 in development? A direct injection Rotary, and a hybrid!
#2948 of 3618 It doesn't have to complete with the Z
Oct 12, 2005 (9:28 am)
Really. It's like expecting a IS300 to beat a M3 - it's not designed to be a 3-series destroyer anymore than the RX-8 is designed to blow the doors off of the 350Z.
It's made to be a family-friendly, commuter and city-traffic happy sportscar for the normal person. The Z - tried it - it's a terrible car - it reminds me of old 1960s musclecars - all that power in a straight line and punishment while dong it. There is no smoothness, no easing itself around twisties. It's a totally different car, just like how a Boxter is compared to a S2000. One's refined and useable and the other is more of an enthusiast's car. Both are good cars, mind you, but the RX-8 pulls off the same trick the Boxter has for roadsters - it's great all-around and just enough for the average buyer to handle without beating themselves up or getting into trouble.
It's fine as it is. For $27K, plus rebates once the 2006s come out - I defy you to find a better sportscar for the price.
#2949 of 3618 Re: Updates [pathstar1]
Oct 12, 2005 (9:36 am)
Thanks, pathstar....as always, you continue to be a wealth of information.
I do agree....the the ECU, PCM, etc is one of the most integrated I've seen on any car. I'm sure that being a tuner/tester, that having such an integrated computer does frustrate you from time to time, though.
I'd be interested in hearing even rumors regarding the manual transmission model changes.
I didn't put much stock in the hydrogen RX8 being thrown about several months ago. I know something like that isn't even remotely on the production horizon. But, direct injection and a hybrid model would get my attention.
Matter of fact, a hybrid would seem to me to be very doable. Plus, it would be a way to "kick up" performance and fuel economy at the same time. I can't even begin th imagine the complexity of the computer control over a hybrid RENESIS, though. That begs several questions.
--if the fuel/air mixture reflashes have truly been "optimized" to keep the flooding in check, how would the starting/stopping of the RENESIS be handled in a hybrid type system?
--would it be a true hybrid?
Any news on the convertible front?
While a reborn RX7 is intrguing, what could it possibly offer over the RX8? The RX8 already had coupe styling (just with 2 extra doors)? Bigger/more rotors? Turbo/supercharging?
#2950 of 3618 Re: Sales figures..... [roar1]
Oct 12, 2005 (9:43 am)
Just curious. Does anyone know what the average monthly sales are for the RX-8 ?
Nissan sells ( on average ) about 2000 350 Z's / month. I realize that these two vehicles don't compete with each other directly but they are both what I consider to be niche vehicles. Is there a Mazda website for sales figures ??
Mazda could only WISH for z numbers. In numbers sold the Z blows the 8 into the weeds and if you add the G35 coupe and the Z it becomes a REAL spanking
Heck, the low-volume "halo car" S2000 has now out-sold the RX-8 for the year so far! The S2000 sales were spurred by a discounted lease program - but Mazda had a discounted lease program going as well.
Too bad Ford does not break out the Mustang by GT and v-6, since I would be curious as to how the v-8 GT did.
When folks go to plunk down $30k or more for a sports car they have lots of choices, and I much as I love the looks and driving dynamics of my RX-8 I can see why sales are slow: TERRIBLE mileage, flooding problem, rotary "differences", Mazda dealer network, first year problems and recalls, etc. But I think the biggest thing is just the other choices - you can get a v-8 Mustang that gets better mileage (on regular), is faster/quicker, and handles decent (score one for the RX-8!) for the same or less money. You DO see tons of them on the road (score another for the RX-8).
Here are the numbers for September 2005.
Model 9/2005 9/2004 change YTD 05 YTD 04 change
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- - ---------
RX-8 1,148 651 76% 5,929 7,525 -21%
350Z 1,963 2,158 -9.0% 21,325 23,939 -10.5%
G35 Cpe 1,993 2,188 -8.9% 20,283 22,084 -7.8%
S2000 659 482 36.7% 6,533 5,835 12.5%
Mustang 10,976 6,333 73.3% 128,485 94,468 36.0%
EDIT: I think the RX-8 sales numbers are WRONG. As of July 2005 Mazda was reporting 9,498 RX-8s sold, so unless they gave a LOT of folks their money back they listed the numbers wrong. I think those are MIATA numbers. The RX-8 numbers may be:
"RX-8" 949 1,827 -48% 11,592 19,226 -40%
They crossed up the Miata and RX-8 sales numbers, it appears.
FYI, I account for 1 each in the YTD 2005 totals for the RX-8 and the S2000
#2951 of 3618 regarding Mustang GT numbers.....
Oct 12, 2005 (1:40 pm)
Sales numbers for the '05 Mustang GT were roughly 32% of total Mustang volume of 190,000 units. That means Ford sold about 61,000 '05 Mustang GTs. '06s are just hitting the streets over the past few weeks, so no numbers are available.
I wouldn't slam the RX8 so much, however. Don't know what the 350Z numbers have been, but it's clear their are a lot more of them on dealer's lots than there was a couple of years ago. I'll assume their numbers have drifted downward, too.
The S2000 is a "niche" vehicle much like the RX8.
Having lived with both the Mustang GT and the RX8, the Mustang isn't real finicky. You fire it up and go. And, it does go like a bat out of hell.
And yes, I do get better MPG on regular gas with the Mustang than I did with the RX8 burining premium (about 17-18 MPG in town and about 23-24 MPG on the highway).
It can't match the handling finesse of the RX8, but is a lot faster and dare I say, just as comfy. But, my guess is, you'd be able to buy an rX8 for less money than a Mustang GT right now. There isn't any Ford $$ support on the GT. Nor, is there much discounting from MSRP on them, either.
They really are two different cars. The GT makes wonderful V8 muscle car noises and has the performance to back it up. The RX8 is a scalpel to carve up roads. Id say that Ford has learned a thing or two about "tightening" up the Mustang from Mazda, to boot.
It's not all about straight line acceleration, though. As we debated ad infinitum with the GTO crowd (which in '04 guise was a tad slower than the Mustang GT and the '05 GTO a tad faster), the entire package has to be taken into account. Ford keeps selling and cranking out Mustang GTs at a breakneck pace, while GM isn't even sure there will be much of a future for the GTO since it's been such a disappointment.
If the MAzda team did indeed get the "buggaboos" sorted out with the RX8, it's sales will only be helped by upping it's performance. The rest of the package (styling, braking, steering, shifting, ride, etc) is just fine.
#2952 of 3618 Re: Updates [graphicguy]
Oct 12, 2005 (1:49 pm)
There isn't any info. on the car (I named it incorrectly - it's a "concept car" at this stage). I don't subscribe to the argument that some "hybrids" are or are not "true" hybrids. That's an elitist concept. If it can run on electricity or gas, then it's a hybrid in my books.
Actually, the hybrid renesis wouldn't have a flooding problem. The electric motor that drives the car in a hybrid is used to "start" the gasoline (or diesel) engine by just using an electric "clutch" between them. So the rotary would be "started" at over 2000 RPM - which equates to near perfect combustion chamber sealing. Remember, the main reason the RX-8 floods is at 250 RPM (starting speed) the seals perform poorly, meaning they can't eject unburnt or unvaporized fuel from the chambers - it builds up and results in flooding once it soaks the plugs.
One little known fact is the current engine has plugs installed on "ports" that could be used to inject oil into the combustion chambers to allow a quick recovery from flooding. We have been considering using these to allow starting when at -30 deg. (the car is very suseptable to flooding when it gets that cold - even with the new programming). We have only flooded ours once when it was that cold, and even when boosted by a tow truck it wouldn't start. It had to be towed into a warm garage before it could be re-started. If you've never lived in a climate such as ours (Edmonton Alberta Canada) you can't imagine how "uncomfortable" it is trying to get a vehicle started at these temps., ankle deep in snow, frost on all surfaces. Even we say "YUCK"! A little digression just so everyone understands why some people will put up with hurricanes.
I'm not sure the current chassis design could be made into a convertible, as there are "tubes" made up in the body (particularly around the side doors - both top and bottom) that are required to give the car it's rigidity. If you cut the top tube the car would severely distort. There is always an engineering solution of course, but could they sell enough to make it practical to produce?
What the RX-7 offers over the RX-8 is pure uncompromized performance. It is hard to drive (because many of us can't handle the performance), it is uncomfortable (rough ride), and impractical (seats only two - very little cargo space). BUT, it goes from 0-60 in under 5 sec., will go faster than any public highway will tolerate, and is SEXY! And that is why it's replacement is wanted by current owners. I like the RX-8. It handles at least as well as my RX-7, but if you ever get a chance to ride in a 3rd gen RX-7, you'll understand just how much "performance" the RX-8 is missing. We want that with the RX-8 handling and braking. That is what we expect if a new RX-7 is brought to market.