The Mazda RX-8 is among the many few fashionable JDM sports activities vehicles you may get on a finances. Carrying over the same 1.3-liter Wankel rotary engine to the 13B within the RX-7, it’s one to go to vehicles in order for you a rotary engine since it’s cheaper than most of its predecessors. From 2003 to 2012, Mazda maintained the front-engine rear-wheel-drive platform that makes the RX-8 a typical sight in varied motorsports similar to drifting and the GT collection (2006-2013).

Execs and Cons



As mentioned earlier, the RX-8 is among the most inexpensive JDM sports activities vehicles. With costs beginning at slightly below $5,000, it’s the proper undertaking automotive you are attempting to attenuate undertaking prices. The Mazda RX-8 additionally makes a wonderful every day driver or newbie automotive for youngsters. 

Moderately highly effective engine

When new, the Mazda RX-8 made 200-250 horsepower relying on the spec and 12 months of manufacture. This energy output could also be totally different by the point you buy yours however will nonetheless be affordable for a automotive over 10-20 years outdated. With some good engine work and a lightweight tune, the 1.3-liter Wankel rotary is resurrected again to glory. You may get barely over 300 horsepower. 

Good transmission

You get the Mazda RX8 with 2 guide transmission choices or 2 automated transmission choices. Each automated and guide transmissions carry out nicely, however most drivers will discover the 5 velocity and 6-speed guide transmissions extra participating than the automated transmission. The 4 velocity or 6 velocity are just for drivers preferring having each palms on the wheel, however you should use the paddle shifters within the 6-speed auto if you happen to love some driver engagement. 

Nice dealing with

The Mazda RX-8 has a front-mid engine rear-wheel-drive platform with a 50-50 weight distribution, making it a terrific dealing with automotive. Cornering is easy, and the braking distance can be affordable because of the equal grip on all tires. 

Clear seems to be

For a four-door sports activities automotive, the Mazda RX-8 has fairly the seems to be. In the event you determine to do some beauty mods, you wouldn’t need to spend a lot because it seems to be nice with minimal mods. Decrease the automotive utilizing decreasing springs, coil-overs, or baggage, then slap on some cool wheels, and it’ll look simply okay however higher than the OEM seems to be. Neat-looking physique kits are available if you happen to love a whole makeover. 

Components are simply out there

Aftermarket elements producers nonetheless make alternative elements for the Mazda RX-8. A few of that are higher and extra sturdy than the OEM elements. There are additionally OEM used elements on the market on-line you could purchase if purchasing for new elements will dent your pockets too laborious. 


Wants excessive upkeep

If not maintained in line with schedule, the RX-8’s engine will start to fail on you. One thing as small as lacking an oil change schedule or failing to alter sparkplugs can result in engine stalling. You’ll want to remain up to date along with your upkeep schedule and take note of any engine points. 

Not spacious

Whatever the RX-8 being a four-door four-seater sports activities automotive, the inside is cramped up. Two adults can barely match within the rear seats, and the trunk area isn’t that nice if you happen to intend to make use of the RX-8 as a grocery getter. Most drivers will take away the rear seats and set up a roll cage. Not like different four-door sports activities vehicles, it’s laborious to put in a roll cage with the rear seats nonetheless put in in a Mazda RX-8.

Excessive fuel mileage

For a naturally aspirated 1.3-litre engine, the Mazda RX-8 is de facto fuel-thirsty. With common gas consumption of round 14.0mpg, it ranks decrease amongst different sports activities vehicles in its class. Even these with greater displacement engines, such because the Nissan 350Z.

The RX8’s 1.3-litre rotary engine is much less fuel-efficient than the Fairlady Z’s 3.5-litre V6, regardless of having lower than 50% of the displacement. #rx8 #rotary #13b #dorito #vq35

Low energy output at low RPMs

The RX-8 solely attains its most energy output at round 5800RPM, which means that even overtaking is out of the e-book at low speeds. To realize most energy output, you’ll have to hit freeway speeds.

Widespread points

Apex seals

Every rotor on the RX-8’s engine has three apex seals. Six apex seals hold the compression within the engine chamber. The apex seals get broken as a result of three components: lack of sufficient lubrication, excessive temperatures, and the tensioner springs sporting out. 

If the apex seals are worn out, you’ll discover a lack of compression, resulting in energy loss when accelerating. It is suggested that you just substitute all apex seals even when not all are worn out. This helps to know the quantity of mileage you have got on all of them collectively as a substitute of only a couple. Whereas at it, the engine can be rebuilt, thus stopping apex seals leakages. 

Failure to start out

Failure to start out is principally brought on by ignition coil issues. Ignition coils put on out by way of a automotive’s lifetime. Since RX-8s are between 10 and 20 years outdated, there’s a chance that the ignition coil is dangerous. The ignition coil on a Mazda RX-8 must be changed each 30,000 miles to forestall failure. 

Engine flooding

In the event you odor an excessive amount of gas within the cabin, there’s a signal that your engine is flooding. The gas injectors dump extra gas into the engine throughout a chilly begin. Turning the engine after a short time throughout a chilly begin will go away the engine flooded with gas. The air is directed for combustion will not be sufficient. 

Keep away from driving off instantly or turning the engine off too quickly after a chilly begin. The spark plugs can not generate the spark required to combust the gas and air. In distinction, extra gas continues to be being pumped into the engine. 

Engine flooding also can result in a catalytic converter failure. When gas will not be combusted, it heats up. It enters the exhaust system then into the catalytic converter, with a most working temperature of 500°C. If gas is above that temperature, it destroys the catalytic convertor. 

Sunroof rattle

Some Mazda RX-8 specs have a sunroof that rattles at excessive speeds, particularly when open. You’ll have to frivolously grease the steel braces on the perimeters to forestall this. 

Poor trunk construct materials

The trunk is made out of low-cost plastic, and identical to the sunroof, it rattles as a result of outdated age and laborious closing. Discovering the hood latch may also be difficult if it’s your first time round and RX-8. It’s a small button situated beneath the sprint on the driving force’s facet subsequent to the hood latch. 

Poor inside

The plastic panels had been top-quality inside materials at its manufacturing time however aged and worn out over time. The dashboard fades out as a result of publicity to daylight. The glovebox rattles if you drive on a bumpy highway and fails to lock when closing it. Typically even the door locks fail to work. Refurbishing the inside is among the first modifications it’s best to do in your RX-8 if you wish to get pleasure from driving it. 

Common Costs

Discovering a Mazda RX-8 for beneath $5,000 is comparatively simple. Most homeowners will get bored with the gas financial system even earlier than having fun with the automotive. In the event you want smiles per gallon over miles per gallon, you’ll love the RX-8, however provided that you keep it correctly. It’s also possible to get a low mileage or uncommon spec RX-8, such because the anniversary version, for round $15,000, which continues to be a discount. 

View JDM Mazda RX-8 Ads for sale

Comparable options

Fashions and specs

The Mazda RX-8 was solely produced all through one era (2002-2012) however with a mid-cycle refresh close to the top of manufacturing, 2008-2012. The 1.3-litre Wankel rotary was used all through manufacturing. However with totally different energy outputs relying on the spec and the 12 months of manufacturing. 


RX-8 Kind S (2002)

Kind-S is the bottom mannequin out there within the RX8 lineup. It encompasses a 1.3-litre rotary engine with energy output various from 150 to 240 horsepower relying on transmission kind. When new the Kind S with the 6-speed guide transmission had the very best energy output at 240 horsepower. 

Mazdaspeed RX-8 (2003)

RHD Mazdaspeed RX-8

Mazda’s tuning division, Mazdaspeed, tuned 480 models of the sort S to be offered completely in Japan. A greater suspension setup, improved aerodynamics, anti-roll bars, and efficiency brake calipers and rotors had been a number of the upgrades on the RX-8. 

The Mazdaspeed spec additionally options wider bumper vents, facet skirts, and a wing, making it extra aggressive. Because the Mazdaspeed RX-8 was solely offered in Japan, Mazdaspeed improve elements had been out there at Mazda dealerships worldwide. 

RX-8 NR-A (2004)

To take part within the one-make social gathering race, Mazda designed a physique equipment and efficiency improve elements for the RX-8. The efficiency equipment included a racing braking system, roll bar, race oil cooler, race-spec radiator, and tow hooks. These had been bolt-on upgrades for the Kind S and had been offered in Mazda dealerships throughout Japan after approval by the Japan Car Federation. 

RX-8 SPL (2005)

In direction of the top of 2005, Mazda launched a Sports activities Status Restricted (SPL) RX8 particularly for Japan and North American markets. Particular coloration schemes had been out there for the SPL spec. Nonetheless, the notable distinction is that it had a Bilstein suspension setup which considerably improves journey high quality. Solely 2150 models had been made.  

RX-8 Evolve (2006)

This was the first-ever UK spec RX-8, and solely 500 models had been made. New bezel headlights, aluminum outlet fins, chrome exhaust, surrounds, rotary badges, alloy wheels, and sports activities door mirrors had been supplied on the RX-8 evolve. 

The RX-8 evolve additionally had inside upgrades similar to Alcantara sports activities seats, leather-wrapped steering, shift knob, and hand brake lever. There have been solely two paint choices out there for the RX-8 evolve, copper crimson mica 400 and phantom blue mica. 

RX-8 PZ (2006)

In collaboration with Prodrive, a tuner home within the UK, Mazda launched the RX-8 PZ solely out there for the UK. OZ Racing wheels, aero mirrors, blacked-out grille, twin exhaust setup, Bilstein dampers, and Eibach coil springs distinguished the PZ spec from the evolve spec RX8. 800 models had been made, 380 in gray and 420 in black. 

RX-8 revelation (2006)

If you need a comfort-oriented RX-8, the revelation spec is your automotive. Nevertheless, it’s a uncommon spec since solely 100 models had been made for the Australian market. The RX-R revelation encompasses a 9-speaker Bose speaker system, leather-based seats, leather-wrapped steering, and door handles. It additionally has dual-zone local weather management, energy home windows, and mirrors. 

RX-8 nemesis (2006)

The Nemesis spec RX-8 has a mix of options from the revelation and PZ specs. Being the third RX-8 variant for the UK market, you’d get it with 189 horsepower or 240 horsepower from the 1.3-litre engine utilized in different variants. 350 models had been made, 200 in copper crimson and 150 in stormy blue.  

M’z tune RX-8 (2006)

In 2006 Mazdaspeed made an up to date model of the primary Mazdaspeed RX-8. It was extra performance-oriented as in comparison with the primary Mazdaspeed. Aside from a brand new aerodynamic physique equipment, it featured a efficiency exhaust and improved radiator, a stiffer suspension, and a light-weight flywheel.  

Kuro RX-8

This was an totally blacked-out RX-8 that includes all options from the nemesis spec. As well as, it had wider exhaust suggestions, stiffer anti-roll bars, adjustable suspension, and a bigger spoiler which supplied extra downforce. It was lighter and was solely out there with guide transmission as a result of it was extra race-focused. 

40th Anniversary version

The 40th version featured distinctive coloration choices: marble white, metropolitan gray mica, darkish blue, and good black. Bigger alloy wheels, fog lamps, and a sport-tuned suspension with Bilstein dampers make the 40th-anniversary version stand out amongst different editions. 

Inside colours matched the outside paint job or twin coloured. Manufacturing was restricted to 400 models unfold out between Japan, North America, Australia, and the UK.  


RX-8 R3

Mazda RX-8 R3

Most upgrades on the R3 are seen on the outside because it encompasses a entrance splitter, sportier 19-inch wheels, and tires, decrease facet sills. You get Recaro racing bucket seats within the inside, leather-wrapped steering, and a leather-wrapped parking brake deal with. The identical 9-speaker Bose system from the revelation spec is within the R3. 

RX-8 Spirit R

Constructed to commemorate the top of the RX-8’s manufacturing, the Spirit R has all high-end options out there in each spec by way of the manufacturing years. The engine was reworked, and higher elements similar to a high-pressure gas pump, chilly air consumption system, and a second consumption port had been put in. 

An aluminum hood and roof had been put in to cut back the load and a magnesium steering body with a carbon fibre shaft. A track-ready suspension was additionally put in that includes Bilstein dampers. The Spirit additionally had a glass sunroof. Only a few models of the Spirit R exist. 

Manufacturing Numbers

All through the RX-8’s manufacturing years, Mazda produced 192,094 buyer models. You higher seize yours earlier than they begin changing into uncommon. 


Does the RX-8 make a very good undertaking automotive?

Sure. The primary issue to contemplate when shopping for a undertaking automotive is the worth. Because the RX-8 is reasonable, you get a undertaking automotive that runs and drive, which means you’ll be able to work on it as you employ it. 

Is the RX-8 extremely costly to take care of?

It’s no more costly, however it’s extra concerned. Aside from the engine, the Mazda RX-8 doesn’t require extra upkeep than the typical automotive.

Is the RX-8 extremely costly to take care of?

Aside from the engine, the RX-8 doesn’t require a lot upkeep.

Does the RX-8 maintain its worth?

Totally depends upon the spec you’ll purchase. If you buy any of the three UK spec RX-8s or a Spirit R, you will be positive it’s going to maintain its worth higher than every other mannequin. 

Can I swap engines within the Mazda RX-8?

Sure. The 1.3-litre engine is very unreliable for some drivers, particularly for drifting, racing, and even every day driving. Don’t be stunned to see an RX-8 with an LS, JZ, Ok-24, or an RB swap. 


  • Wikipedia.org/wiki/Mazda_RX-8
  • Rx8club.com
  • Cashcarbuyers.com/mazda-RX-8
  • Rotarymotion.web/rx8
  • Breakeryard.com/car-parts/rx8
  • Tuningpro.co/Mazda-rx8
  • stancenation.com/car-features/slammed/the-street-dancer-naoki-ishijimas-rx-8/

The best way to import a Mazda RX-8

Learn our final information, How to Import a Car from Japan.

Christopher Weydert
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