Last post on Mar 13, 2012 at 4:42 PM
You are in the Mazda RX-8
What is this discussion about?
Mazda RX-8, Coupe
Dec 21, 2005 (7:56 am)
I have a 2006 on preorder. I was told to expect it around the last week of January to first week of February. I was told this information when I contacted Mazda headquarters to go about setting up my special order since the sales manager at my dealer didn't know when they were coming so he said they didn't have the special order info. I finalized my order on Nov. 22 for my car and it went into a final build order two days later. My dealer is getting two in stock at that time. The first one is Galaxy Gray 6-speed manual and at the date I got my order finalized that one was already in build order and couldn't have its specs changed, so if you want one like that expect it around late January in the Portland area. Their second car, now my car, will be a Winning Blue 6-speed manual. MAZDASPEED dealers are supposed to get the new RX-8s first.
I was told there was a delay in production on 2006's because the new Mazda 5 (the mini minivan) is built on the same line in the factory as the RX-8 and the 5 was having a parts "issue" which I understood to mean the availability of some part or another basically held up the line a month or so longer than it should have. The RX-8 was initially supposed to start production on October 1 but got pushed back to November 1 and then to December 1. It is my understanding that they are currently in production now. I was told a week or so after I placed my order, by headquarters, that it went into production Dec. 14. I don't know if that was my car or the RX-8 in general.
On another forum I was informed that "reliable" sources are all informing "them" that the RX-8 won't be availble until after spring break! If that is the case Car and Driver wouldn't have voted it 10 best since it's criteria states that vehicles tested are supposed to be available for sale no later than January 2006.
I guess we will all have to wait and see but I am definitely hoping for the sooner rather than later date! Originally they were supposed to come out in time for Christmas (by the early to mid December) so I don't think they are that far behind their schedule, only about two months. I had also been told that they were talking of adding an extra shift at the factory to get them out as soon as possible.
#3126 of 3618 Re: 2006 vs 2005? [pathstar1]
Dec 21, 2005 (12:50 pm)
Thanks for the news. I was able to find the very useful pdf that someone posted as well (thanks for that). So has anyone actually driven the 4-spd AT and the 6-spd AT? Or perhaps has any experience with 6-spd AT's that may offer some advice as to whether or not to go with the 2005 or the 2006? I keep thinking that the 6-spd AT will be more fun than the 4-spd AT, but I am guessing that waiting will cost me about $3K (but my car would be one year newer) and I am trying to decide if the new AT is worth the extra money. Thanks
#3127 of 3618 Re: 2006 vs 2005? [duke15]
Dec 21, 2005 (12:55 pm)
One more thought - where did the 6-spd AT come from? Is it new, or has it had a reliability record with another model? thanks
#3128 of 3618 Re: Residual [jkeith2]
Dec 21, 2005 (1:08 pm)
I have an early built 04 and I have had ZERO problems with it. In fact, this is one of the few cars I have bought in my life that I haven't had to take in for something nit-picky to be fixed.
Drove it this afternoon for the first time in a while (clear, dry roads) and it was as exciting as the first time I drove it home from the dealer!! I love it!!
Dec 21, 2005 (2:34 pm)
I have driven the 4-Speed auto RX-8 but never a 6-Speed auto. I have heard that new Mini Cooper also uses a 6-Speed auto in it. I guess the main change is that it has closer shifting points to keep the RPMs at more of a stable rate. Don't know how knew this is or not.
#3130 of 3618 Re: 2006 vs 2005? [duke15]
Dec 21, 2005 (5:50 pm)
The 6 speed auto is new. It's now in showrooms in the new Miata (now called the MX-5 instead of the MX-5 Miata). Perhaps you could arrange a test drive of that car to see how well the transmission works.
The car would be more fun with the six speed. It's a little slow with the 4 speed - some like it, lots don't. It depends on what you want. Personally, I would pay the extra $3,000 as I wouldn't want the car with the 4 speed.
Dec 21, 2005 (10:17 pm)
Resale value will also be much higher for the "non castrated" 6 speeds compared to the 4 speeds.
The 4 speed - it was good for an automatic but in no way did it approach the feel of a manual. Move over to an IS300 and - shifting with the paddles in one is very close to a stickshift. Just no clutch.
It'll be much much better to drive.
Dec 22, 2005 (7:22 am)
If it were me, I would just buy a stick. I am in the process of relearning how to drive a stick for when my new RX-8 arrives. (Got to be able to test drive it and at least get it off the lot without looking stupid). I haven't really driven a stick in six years so I signed up for a few lessons at Sears, mainly so I could get some practice at slow speed, stop and go traffic. Everywhere I go seems to be that way anymore! The RX-8 is supposed to be a really easy to car to shift anyway, so I figure I will do okay with it.
#3133 of 3618 bunnygirl ... i hadn't driven a stick ....
Dec 23, 2005 (10:48 am)
for 3 or 4 years until i got the 8 in march 05. It makes for some interesting driving at first. However, I have always preferred a manual to an auto and this car does not change that. It's great.
Funny thing about my test drive, they had to jump start the car I wanted to drive (dead battery sitting on the lot) and then send me out in it with a "Don't stall it, it won't restart!!" Lord I was nervous - I was revving the heck out of it on every take-off. But, I managed!!
PS Glad to see a "fellow female" interested in cars. I sometimes think I'm the only female in the country that knows about hp's, cylinders, rotaries, and car stuff!! Mine is a gift from my mechanic dad!! Thanks dad!!
You're gonna love yours!! I've got to drive my baby the last 2 or 3 days because we've had a break in the snow and the roads are clear and dry (couldn't make myself put an UGLY set of winter tires on it!), and it's like having a new car again!!
Dec 24, 2005 (9:21 am)
There are many opinions on the comparison between transmissions. I'm going to state mine.
"In the beginning..." there were two basic RX-8 models - those with the "standard power" engine (market speak), and those with the "high power" engine. Here in North America all manual transmission models got the "high power" engine. All automatic transmission models got the "standard power" engine. The difference was claimed to be 41 HP.
Starting with the 2006 model year all models will get the "high power" engine. The automatic transmission models will be slightly crippled due to the torque converter reliable operation limit of 7500 RPM, so the engine will only develop a claimed 212 HP, while the manual transmission can handle the full 9000 RPM range of the renesis engine with a claimed HP of 238.
So, which transmission is "better". There are reasons to want an automatic and there are reasons to want a manual.
Manual - You control "fully" which gear you are in and you control the connection of the engine to the power train (clutch). I like this aspect because I can see the road ahead and anticipate when to shift. When I'm lazy the auto would be better. The manual transmission -should- be more reliable as it has fewer parts/is less complex. These days this may not matter, as you rarely hear of an automatic transmission failing when maintained properly over a reasonable time span (say 10 years). You can easily wear out the clutch on a manual transmission equipped car, for example. I'd say reliability is even between the two.
Automatic - If you drive in heavy traffic every day this is the preferred way to go. You can still "play" as the RX-8 has "paddle shifters" that allow you to select the gear. There is an extra loss of power in the torque converter, but it is small. The previous 4 speed auto with the "standard power" engine was, well, to be blunt, slow. That has now changed! You think a manual would beat the new auto? Think about what happens when you shift. There is a time when there is no power being applied to the rear wheels when you shift a manual (perhaps 1 second for each shift). An automatic can shift with almost full power to the rear wheels. This is why they use automatic transmission mechanicals in drag racing cars! I suspect this advantage will balance out the loss of HP the 2006 automatic suffers due to not being able to rev up to 9000 RPM.
Of course none of us would ever think of using the car in the manner implied above on the street! Would we?
So, being a manual transmission guy, would I consider the auto? It's tempting!