Roadshow Video Reviews
2009 Mazda RX-8 R3Brian Cooley checks the tech on the 2009 Mazda RX-8 R3.
[ Engine revving ] ^M00:00:01 >> I call this car a gutless wonder. Now, all you RX8 fans don't get your panties up in wad. I mean that in a complimentary way. It's a gutless wonder. I'll show you what I mean. Let's go for a ride in the '09 Mazda RX8 R3. ^M00:00:17 [ Music ] ^M00:00:24 It has no low-end balls, no torque off the line. I mean not much, not for a modern car today, but that can be forgiven. What a little tiny putt-putt motor, a 1.3-liter Wankel rotary. That's really tiny. [ Engine revving ] But from there comes a surprisingly stout 232 horsepower, though just 159 foot-pounds of torque. Zero to sixty happens in around six and half seconds, but you got to use most of the tach to make that happen. Now look how compact a rotary engine is. There's the alternator. That's kind of the front nose of the engine. And it just pushes back to the firewall. You can see that. That's nothing fore to aft. Now this engine, by the way, is called the Renesis. The Renesis generation has a reworking of the intake and exhaust ports. You see, there are no valves on a rotary engine; just there are big old holes. And as the rotor goes around, it covers and uncovers them, basically. And what they've done here is reengineered it so that at no point is the exhaust port open while the intake is open. [ Engine revving ] Now, other tweaks on our RX8 R3, which is kind of the hotrod club racer version include bigger wheels. They're 19s, so you got some good size boots out there. They've also got a urethane foam-filled suspension member. They cut down on the NVH, the noise, vibration, and harshness of a component that gets a lot of road input, and can develop, I think, its own harmonic and vibrate its own weird way. And wrapping up the package for the R3 is this set of Recaro seats. Either the most comfortable, or the most uncomfortable you've ever been in. They're not enormously adjustable, the way you'd find some Mercedes and BMWs. Instead, they're just plain sporty. Now in terms of cabin tech, our usual main mission here, you've got, really, a paucity of said. You can't even get navigation in this R3 version, so instead we've got this Bose audio system. It's a good one. We've got a six-disc in-dash changer. It boots out 300 watts, and it's got their center points and audio pilot technology. Center point helps give you a spatial effect. Audio pilot is noise cancellation technology. Now, beyond that, this system's pretty basic in an odd way. There is no USB, which is the hot thing now. There's no iPod adaptor. You have a basic aux jack, but that's about it. You do have Bluetooth in this vehicle, which is nice. Something I don't think we saw in a previous RX8. So that's a little bit of an upgrade. ^M00:02:51 [ Music ] ^M00:02:53 Okay, let's price this guy. The RX8 R3 edition, the club racer, is about thirty-two, six base. That includes the destination charges. And that also includes the 19-inch wheels, the Bose audio system, the Recaro seats, the Bilstein shocks, the urethane foam-filled suspension member. That's really the package. The only option you have to play with is Sirius Satellite Radio for 430 bucks. ^E00:03:16