"considering that RX-8 only weights around 2800lbs"
Source? When I was asking about weight a few months ago, people were citing 3000lbs curb weight. 2800lbs/250hp is very attractive.
As for the weigh issue, I'd be with mikemajesty, etc., on wondering why it matters if the RX-8 were priced in the low to mid $20s as a direct competitor to cars like the RSX-S and WRX. But, if it's really starting at $26k, runs into the $30s, and is unlikely to be discounted, then suddenly I'm cross-shopping it against Accord V6 6MTs, Infiniti G35s and the like, and all of those cars have significantly more grunt, along with some luxury trappings. I have absolutely no problem with a lithe, semi-spartan, high-revving, great handling two-seater or 2+2. I happen to own one of each. However, my beloved Prelude was cancelled because its price *approached* that of the RX-8, and in the RX-8 I see a very, very similar car: phenomenal handling, ok interior, somewhat torque-deficient engine, 2+2 config. It'll be a halo car, yes, but it'll be a tough sell for the price if it's a $30k coupe with 150 ftlbs of torque. And the moment a RX-7 (or some variant) comes along, it'll be dropped like a rock just as Honda dropped the Prelude the moment the S2000 showed up on the scene. I'm having a hard time seeing the RX-8 lasting long or selling well with a two-seater on the horizon, and i have a hard time seeing Mazda disregarding the two-seat market given their expertise with the Miata and their long rotary roadster history going all the way back to the, what was it, the Cosmo?
I'll be blunt - I see the RX-8 as a technology mule designed to market "zoom zoom" for 24 months before Mazda debuts a rotary sports car. My prediction: by 2007 there will be no "sport" RX-8.
I think the 2755 lbs. was an early goal (=1250 kg).
Besides, even at 2970lbs, it is still nearly 500 lbs lighter than the G35c. A healthy V6 (and that much loved torque) will certainly help offset that in the G.......as far as acceleration goes. But mass is mass is mass. A healthy V6 doesn't help a bit in the handling department.
I get back to my earlier question: why do we care how the car performs with 4 passengers? Anybody know of ANY publication which routinely tests cars with anything more than the driver and a half tank of gas? Jeez, do you think a sportbike owner worries that the guy on the Harley is gonna spank him in the off chance they both have passengers?
The name of the publication isn't "Car and Occupants" for a reason.....
Thats because the WRX and lancer evo are what they are, "Sedans" and have real 4 doors, along with real rear passenger/cargo room, and torque filled engines to cart 4 adults around effortlessly.
To call the RX8 a sports car, then extend its wheel base, add 2 doors and look at this as a convenience. Well...if thats how it makes you feel, then I think this might be the wrong car for you.
I personally dont want the extra doors for convenience. I would prefer a better looking sports coupe, with cramped rear seating (or none), and a shorter wheel base.
I look at mazda as a company which ruined, what potentially could of been a potentially great sports car.
As far as rumors, speculations of a upcoming 2 seat rotary car. Well...I'll believe it when I see it. And if sales of the RX8 are what will determine the fate of an upcoming car like that..Well I wish them luck.
"I get back to my earlier question: why do we care how the car performs with 4 passengers? Anybody know of ANY publication which routinely tests cars with anything more than the driver and a half tank of gas? Jeez, do you think a sportbike owner worries that the guy on the Harley is gonna spank him in the off chance they both have passengers?"
We care because we're not auto journalists. Someday when I grow up and become a Car and Driver writer, then I'll wax poetic about how great a car handles with one person in it while streetracing. And, I won't care about anything else because heck, it's not like I'm paying for the thing. Heck, maybe I'll spend more time talking about the optional wheels than the actual driving experience, a la Edmunds and their Ferrari long-term vehicle.
Until that day when I no longer have to live in the real world, I'm going to wonder how a car marketed as a $30,000 posh high-utility four-person vehicle is going to accelerate with a high revving, low torque engine. I'm going to compare it to my experiences driving a similarly sized car with a similar engine. I'm going to care, and wonder whether it's right for a car to aim for the compact sport sedans while wearing a compact sport coupe engine.
The magazines never, ever tell the full story. If they did, I wouldn't be reading anything on these town halls because I wouldn't need to.
Personally, I've never shopped as a sport sedan shopper (though that may change soon). I've always shopped as a sport coupe shopper; i.e. I want a car to give me plenty of entertainment value (driving experiences) while looking decent and with the ABILITY to OCASSIONALLY carry more than 1 passenger. I never really worried about how much of a dog my Celica may be with 4 adults aboard; I was more concerned about driving a lightweight little car giving me zippy performance for the 99% of the time when I'm the only one onboard.
Now Mazda is set to release a car with somewhat better performance in a car which will make it MUCH easier for my 2 and 4-yr old girls to clamber into the back. Am I worried that I may not be able to keep up with the neighbor in his G35c with 4 adults while I've got the family aboard my RX-8? No. Because the vast majority of the time (just like owners of most other sport sedans), I'll be the only one in the car.
I know where you're coming from. Most of us are car enthusiasts and we have very specific and individual ideas of what the perfect car is. Mazda's throwing in 2 more doors and a back seat is an attempt to reach a wider audience as opposed to nail dead-on a smaller segment. I'm not a big fan of the all encompassing approach, it seems to leave everyone a little bit wanting. Why not introduce two cars like Nissan did with their Z and G35c and this discussion would go away.