The Mazda RX-8: A Sports Car with a Unique Rotary Engine

May 3, 2022

Mazda is a brand with a long and storied history in the automotive world. Known for creating sleek and stylish vehicles, they have also been at the forefront of innovation when it comes to engine design. The RX-8 is one such vehicle that stands out in the brand’s lineup for its unique rotary engine.

Design The RX-8 is a compact sports car with a sleek and aerodynamic design. The body of the car is characterized by sharp lines and curves, giving it a sporty and aggressive look. The front of the car features a bold grille, with sleek headlamps that flow into the fenders. The car sits low to the ground, giving it a sporty stance. The rear of the car is just as striking, with a raked back windshield and a sleek, integrated spoiler. The car comes with standard 18-inch alloy wheels.


The RX-8’s interior is designed to be both sporty and comfortable. The driver and passengers sit low to the ground in supportive bucket seats. The dashboard is simple and uncluttered, with a focus on driver ergonomics. The center console houses the shifter for the 6-speed manual transmission or available 6-speed automatic transmission. The car comes standard with a Bose audio system and a six-speaker sound system, with additional features such as a navigation system, rearview camera, and a multifunction display with a trip computer and external temperature display available as options.

Engine and Performance

The Mazda RX-8’s most notable feature is its rotary engine, which is a departure from the traditional reciprocating piston engines found in most cars. Instead of pistons, the rotary engine uses triangular rotors that rotate around a central shaft to create power. This design allows for a more compact and lightweight engine, which contributes to the car’s sporty handling and performance. The RX-8 is powered by a 1.3-liter rotary engine that generates 232 horsepower and 159 lb-ft of torque. This power is sent to the rear wheels through a six-speed manual or available six-speed automatic transmission. With this power plant, the RX-8 can accelerate from 0-60 mph in just 6.4 seconds.

Driving Experience

The RX-8 is a true sports car, designed for driving enthusiasts. The car has a low center of gravity and a balanced chassis, which gives it sharp handling and precise steering. The suspension is tuned for sporty driving, providing a firm but comfortable ride. The engine provides plenty of power and torque, with a distinctive and sporty exhaust note. The six-speed manual transmission is a joy to shift and the clutch pedal is easy to modulate, while the available 6-speed automatic has paddle shifter to give you more control over the transmission. The car comes with four-wheel disc brakes with ABS, which provide strong and consistent stopping power.

Fuel Economy

The RX-8’s rotary engine is known for its lack of efficiency, but its a trade-off you make for having a unique engine like this. The car has an EPA-estimated fuel economy of 16 mpg city, 22 mpg highway and 18 mpg combined with the manual transmission and 16/22/18 with the automatic.


The RX-8 comes with a host of standard safety features, including dual front airbags, front side airbags, and side-curtain airbags. The car also comes with standard stability control, traction control, and anti-lock brakes. In government crash tests, the RX-8 received a top rating of five out of five stars for overall crash protection.

Trim Levels and Pricing

The RX-8 was available in three trim levels: the Sport, the Touring, and the Grand Touring. The Sport comes standard with features like 18-inch alloy wheels, a sport-tuned suspension, and a six-speaker sound system. The Touring adds leather seats, a Bose audio system, and automatic climate control. The Grand Touring is the top-of-the-line model and comes with features like a navigation system, rearview camera, and bi-xenon headlamps.

When the RX-8 was still in production, base Sport models started at around $27,000, while a fully loaded Grand Touring model could top $34,000. Prices may vary depending on the location, taxes, fees and other factors.


The Mazda RX-8 is a true driver’s car that offers a unique combination of sporty handling and performance, with a comfortable and well-appointed interior. Its rotary engine sets it apart from other sports cars on the market and gives it a distinct and sporty exhaust note. Its unique engine is also a trade-off with fuel efficiency. The car is available in a variety of trim levels, each with a good selection of standard and optional features. If you’re in the market for a compact sports car and want something that stands out from the crowd, the RX-8 is definitely worth considering.

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Editorial Staff

The editorial staff is car enthusiasts who are part of the Everything Cars team. They write and manage the blog.

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