The Mazda RX-8 has been on the market since 2003 and with no successor in sight, the 2011 model may very well be the last version of this distinctive sports car ever produced. During its lifetime the car has received only one major update, however, the things that make it unique--the suicide rear doors and rotary engine--are still present.
This rotary engine is what really puts the Mazda RX-8 on the map. It’s the only Wankel rotary engine currently fitted to a production car and may be the last. The twin-rotor unit develops a peak output of 232 horsepower and although this may seem like a lot, the engine’s paltry 159 pound-feet of torque means you really need to dial up the revs to get some momentum going. Opt for the available six-speed Sport A/T automatic transmission and you only get 212 horsepower.
Another downside of the rotary is its dismal fuel economy. Despite its engine ‘only’ displacing 1.3-liters, the Mazda RX-8 returns a fuel economy of 16/22...