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Old 08-24-2011, 02:18 PM   #51
Allch Chcar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shikataganai View Post
People focus on the shortcomings but forget about the very good aspects of the car:

- 50:50 weight distribution
- RWD with a mechanical LSD
- Slick 6 speed
- Properly low H/hip point and cowl height
- Real Japanese/non-fat sized seat bolsters
- Predictable power without the guessing game of turbo lag and peakiness, and that addictive shift beep--wait for it, wait for it!
- Ability to fit 245 section V710s under the fenders for B Stock fun
- Relatively compliant ride yet with good mechanical grip thanks to proper suspension design (double wishbones, anyone?)
All of this^.

I wonder what Mazda is planning on doing with the chassis after they move onto the next car. If they're changing everything to reduce weight they might abandon the RX-8/NC Miata chassis for something lighter. It would be wonderful if someone could buy up the old RX-8 chassis and redesign it for a piston engine and then continue selling it under another name. Maybe a Honda F20C/F22C or even a RWD K20 for easy modding? I would hate to see it become another Muscle car but I doubt a 2.0L MZR version would be popular unless it was dirt cheap and got good MPG.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DeeezNuuuts83 View Post
This. And don't forget about mpg
Have you seen Mazda's MPG numbers? They are all far lower than the Ford versions. I highly doubt that the MPG of a RX-8 chassis with the Mazdaspeed3 turbo 4 would be more than 2 or 3 MPG above the current MPG with the Renesis, which is exactly where the Mazdaspeed3 is ranked. Maybe if it used the NC Miata engine, MAYBE it would get 25MPG.
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Old 08-24-2011, 03:50 PM   #52
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Originally Posted by robmarch View Post
how much less fun would that GT be to drive with the mazdaspeed turbo 4 in it?
Probably significantly for me in the corners. There's no way to get the CG as low or the mass as far back as they do with the 13b. In fact the Rx8 motor is further back and lower than the FD RX7 was. All of this does play a major role in the handling dynamics of the car. If you're a ham-fisted stoplight racer it probably wouldn't be that drastic but if you care for balance and feel it makes a major difference.

And seriously the MPG is not as dismal as many make it out to be. I average a little more with the RX8 than I do in my STi, both around 18 mpg mixed driving with plenty of on ramp WOT in the Mazda. The Subaru I can't beat on as much without getting into trouble.
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Old 08-24-2011, 06:08 PM   #53
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Originally Posted by robmarch View Post
if mazda truly believed in the rotary's benefits, why didn't they put their money where their mouth was and put it in the best selling sports car of all time, the miata? everyone says the problem was lack of volume, that would have made a big difference over many years.

seriously, with the goodwill they had going in the rx line, and all of the benefits that you are all lauding here, the fact that they didn't consider it for the miata is pretty telling, to me.
Likely due to cost - the rotary engine costs a few thousand more than the economy car (Mazda's B-series) engine the Miata's was derived from. It's manufacture requires machinery that only Mazda possess. Ultimately, the Miata was meant to be an ultra affordable roadster, in the image of old school British roadsters, while the rotary range was meant to be the flagship.

Keep in mind that in 1989, when the Miata was released, Mazda was working on the FD (released in late '91 as a MY92 in Japan), which was suppose to be a technological tour de force, what with it's complex, twin sequential turbo system and no compromise, super car class chassis.

Once the Miata established itself as a sales leader, any idea of changing it significantly would have been an unnecessary risk for any Mazda decision maker, never mind that it's much harder to adsorb the extra cost at the lower price level the Miata needed to occupy.

Cliff notes: Miata - low-end sports car, RX7 - high-end sports car
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Old 08-24-2011, 06:49 PM   #54
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Cliff notes: Miata - low-end sports car, RX7/ RX8 - high-end sports car
^This only slightly fixed

Having driven both the RX8 is leagues better than the miata IMO. Maybe its because I can heel toe in the RX8 without have to be a contortionist.

Last edited by elirentz; 08-24-2011 at 07:14 PM.
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Old 08-24-2011, 07:59 PM   #55
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Originally Posted by Allch Chcar View Post
Have you seen Mazda's MPG numbers? They are all far lower than the Ford versions. I highly doubt that the MPG of a RX-8 chassis with the Mazdaspeed3 turbo 4 would be more than 2 or 3 MPG above the current MPG with the Renesis, which is exactly where the Mazdaspeed3 is ranked. Maybe if it used the NC Miata engine, MAYBE it would get 25MPG.
Even if you're right, an additional 2-3 mpg is welcomed, especially when it's accompanied by an additional ~15 hp and ~120 lb-ft.

Obviously a concern is going to be how the weight is balanced, as the Mazdaspeed 3 engine is going to be physically larger and not as easily placed for the more optimal weight distribution that the RX-8 has, but it's not as if it's suddenly going to become a 60:40 split. A lot of people (on this forum as well, as I remember the threads) were doubting the capabilities of the Corvette ZR1, as the Z06 was 50:50, and it was revealed that with the LS9 motor, the ZR1 would be a tad more nose heavy. It seems to cope with it just fine.

I just think it could be done, but purists will refuse it, even though in reality, it will get the job done, possibly better. Truck owners whined and whined about V-6s not being able to get the job done as V-8s were preferred and reigned supreme in full-size truck engine bays, yet today, they actually tried it and have achieved success, particularly Ford, with their V-6 and V-6 twin-turbo engines which have not only been outselling the V-8 models but, in some cases, out-pulling them while being more generous at the fuel pumps as well.
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Old 08-24-2011, 08:16 PM   #56
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^I'm not saying that an RX8 with a MS3 motor in it wouldn't be successful or fun to drive. Its just that the rotary is a neat powerplant with high output per liter and revs to the stratosphere. It really is fun to beat on.

I do agree with some of the posters here that it would be better with FI on the 13b but I'm sure emissions would have been that much worse.
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Old 08-24-2011, 09:42 PM   #57
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I hope this isn't the end of the rotary...
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Old 08-24-2011, 10:34 PM   #58
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also, don't forget guys, the car is 8 years old by now. it reached the end of it's life at this point. it is sad that it wasn't selling at all by the end, but if they kept building it, it's not like it would sell. someone mentioned that the rotary is still alive and well at Mazda - i'm excited to see what they do with it next.
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Old 08-24-2011, 10:44 PM   #59
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Originally Posted by elirentz View Post
^This only slightly fixed

Having driven both the RX8 is leagues better than the miata IMO. Maybe its because I can heel toe in the RX8 without have to be a contortionist.
Wasn't meaning to slight the RX8, I was just speaking more to the genesis of the Miata and why it was positioned the way it was in Mazda's lineup. It stickered at a starting price of $14,000 in '89, while my friends new '91 RX7 convertible cost around $27,000, IIRC - mind-blowingly expensive for someone fresh out of high school I remember thinking.

Posted this is a previous thread, but I think it shows that from a business perspective, that decision to take the rotary a little more mainstream (compared to the FD) was a good one in the RX8, even if it was controversial:



Take a look at the late '70s though; the oil crisis in '79 barely dented 1st gen RX7 sales and, adjusted for inflation, gas prices were similar then as now. I truly hope a rotary successor follows in the same pattern; ultralight weight, simple and affordable (as much as possible anyways) RWD sports car.

Last edited by dclin; 08-24-2011 at 10:50 PM.
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Old 08-25-2011, 02:46 AM   #60
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Originally Posted by dclin View Post
Wasn't meaning to slight the RX8, I was just speaking more to the genesis of the Miata and why it was positioned the way it was in Mazda's lineup.
Yeah I know I just added it because of all the RX8 haters here.


I too hope that Mazda's next rotary offering is put in something a little more spartan and focused. The rotary will never be the best choice for a grand touring car...IMO it belongs in a focused sportscar.
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Old 08-25-2011, 10:38 AM   #61
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I would like to see a new rotary car be more like the 86-92 2nd generation Rx-7. That generation had a lot of different trim levels available: a bare bones sport model, a more optioned-out luxurious model, a turbo model, and a convertible. That would allow the high volume for cost sharing but also the more niche versions for enthusiasts.
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Old 08-25-2011, 11:25 AM   #62
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Originally Posted by dclin View Post
I truly hope a rotary successor follows in the same pattern; ultralight weight, simple and affordable (as much as possible anyways) RWD sports car.
but if you could build a car with piston engine that fits the above profile with more usable torque, why go with rotary? not that rotary cant be an option, but i am not sure if i see why rotary is better than piston except that it seemed like a cool idea at its inception?
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Old 08-25-2011, 11:28 AM   #63
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Originally Posted by JuggernautTCW View Post
but if you could build a car with piston engine that fits the above profile with more usable torque, why go with rotary?
Piston engines are too big physically to meet the requirements, no matter what the LS1 swappers say. Seriously. A DOHC 4 cylinder is significantly taller than a Renesis. The Renesis has a very shallow oil pan and mounts very low. You can't do that with a piston engine that has comparable output unless it's some uber boosted 2 cylinder or something.

The usable torque thing is interesting. Rotary engines did not become high strung until the mid 80s as Mazda kept trying to extract more and more horsepower out of the same 13B architecture that they were not welling to fully redesign. The early fuel injected 13B engines (84-85 Rx-7) were hitting peak torque at ~3000rpm. Then Mazda kept adding more complicated turbochargers or variable intake systems on the naturally aspirated ones. The 3 and 4 rotor engines made gobs of torque.
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Old 08-25-2011, 06:00 PM   #64
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Good info.

to bounce off of the comments above, I agree with most.

I like the FC-RX7, myself. The FD is prettier, but much more expensive. I am not a big fan of the styling on the original RX7, but it was technically a very nice car.

I want to see them further differentiate the next rotary car from the Miata, by going a bit up-market, but not crazy. 35-45K would be plenty, between a tech-only 'RS' model, and a full-option Grand Touring equipped car.

And unlike the standard layout that Subaru/Toyota adopted, and Miata also has, I would like to see something really interesting.

Mid-engined. If Toyota won't revive the MR2, and the Elise is going away, as well due to the end of the 2ZZ engine, Mazda should be the one to step in.

A sleeker, less expensive car than a Porsche Cayman, with the packaging advantages of a rotary.

They could even offer several options, like 2-rotor, 3 rotor, or hybrid electric assist. (the only hybrid I am enthused about is adding electric motor low-end torque to a rotary's high-RPM nature, with a minimum of battery weight.)

I would love to see what they can do with the 16X rotary, paired with a dual-clutch fast-shifting paddle gearbox, similar to PDK, and a torque-vectoring rear differential...

I'd love to see a technology tour-de-force variant with other optional tech like magneto-rheological dampers, cross-hydraulically-linked dampers without the need for torsion spring anti-roll-bars. (see McLaren MP4-12C, and old Citroen DS.), and with the advent of electric assist steering, I'd love to see 4-wheel electric variable-assist steering, with a centralized vehicle dynamics control system.

Maybe even a light Front-wheel traction assist to minimize un-intentional over-steer, and provide regenerative braking. Not even big-time AWD, more like an electrical front-assist that the Ferrari FF does mechanically. Active motivational traction control, rather than just resistive traction control via the brakes.

All driven from a generator harnessed on the rotary engine, and only as much battery capacitance on board as needed, to keep weight as modest as possible.

And of course, another variant that is four well suspended wheels, a seat, and a rotary engine putting power to the ground through a good-ole manual transaxle, wrapped in simple sleek bodywork, and that's about it.
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Old 08-25-2011, 06:30 PM   #65
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but if you could build a car with piston engine that fits the above profile with more usable torque, why go with rotary? not that rotary cant be an option, but i am not sure if i see why rotary is better than piston except that it seemed like a cool idea at its inception?
What arghx7 said.

Go back to the pics I posted on page 1 of this thread. Keep in mind that the mass of the rotary (the block) is basically behind and below the alternator. See the main pulley? That's the center of the block, and the block height is to around the bottom of the alternator.

Another pic. This is a FD engine in a FC, but here you can make out the top of the block, (after all the wire harnesses/solenoids/etc have been cleaned up and cleared out) between the back of the alternator and the upper intake manifold. You can barely make out the main pulley (black) behind the purple radiator hose, and below/offset of the blue water pump pulley. Now draw an imaginary line from the main pulley up to the height of the windshield base.



Replace the aluminum upper intake manifold with a composite one (read plastic) like on the Renesis (since its not boosted like the FD), and you can get an idea of how really low the mass is.

The flat four probably comes closest in low center of mass, but the pistons/heads/etc make the unit naturally wider; rotary is narrower as that it has nothing hanging off the sides (unless you turbo it of course).

Does the rotary automatically mean a well handling car (or hope of world peace)? Of course not, there are plenty of great handling cars with piston engines; the rotary simply makes it easier to achieve.
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Old 08-25-2011, 06:41 PM   #66
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i'd buy a rx8 if it came with more rotors. i could do without turbos if so.

4 > 3 > 2.
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Old 08-25-2011, 06:51 PM   #67
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K, another pic; not sure what RX model this is in (RX3 maybe?), but this rotary does feature an FD upper intake manifold (and I'm guessing the lower intake manifold) and clearly shows how it towers over the block, and how low the rotary can sit.




Quote:
Originally Posted by HipToBeSquare View Post

I like the FC-RX7, myself. The FD is prettier, but much more expensive. I am not a big fan of the styling on the original RX7, but it was technically a very nice car.
The 1st gen does look like a door stop LOL. Yes, I hope a successor doesn't look like it, just try to mimic the size, simplicity, etc.

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Old 08-26-2011, 12:28 AM   #68
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absolutely wonderful car outside of the engine
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Old 08-26-2011, 06:32 AM   #69
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absolutely wonderful car outside of the engine
You can't really separate the two. The RX8 is such a wonderful car because of the packaging allowed by the small size and low cg of the rotary. Yeah the 04's have issues but most of the trouble seen by owners is because of their ignorance of the engine. Hell watch the top-gear review, even Clarkson loves the engine.
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Old 08-26-2011, 07:45 AM   #70
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Probably significantly for me in the corners. There's no way to get the CG as low or the mass as far back as they do with the 13b. In fact the Rx8 motor is further back and lower than the FD RX7 was. All of this does play a major role in the handling dynamics of the car. If you're a ham-fisted stoplight racer it probably wouldn't be that drastic but if you care for balance and feel it makes a major difference.

And seriously the MPG is not as dismal as many make it out to be. I average a little more with the RX8 than I do in my STi, both around 18 mpg mixed driving with plenty of on ramp WOT in the Mazda. The Subaru I can't beat on as much without getting into trouble.
I'm not sure if it's me specifically you're targeting with the "ham fisted" comments, or not, but there is a huge tradespace involved with balancing power with handling. it makes a SLIGHT difference to go from a piston engine to a rotary engine. there are lots of great handing cars out there that aren't rotaries, as proof. Yes, the rotary's compactness brings advantages to the RX8 platform, but people that appreciate handling could still wind up with a really well balanced overall package with a turbo flat 4 in a front engined rear drive RX8, for example. I'm also a little curious how the size of a modern 1.3L piston engine would compare to the rotary.

I don't really care that much about the MPG by itself, it's the combination of power and MPG that says a lot about the powerplant.

and I still ask the question - if the rotary's mass, low cg, etc., is the best way to make a great handling sports car, why was it never put in the miata? they could clearly have handled the production volume, from the chart posted.
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Old 08-26-2011, 07:50 AM   #71
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Likely due to cost - the rotary engine costs a few thousand more than the economy car (Mazda's B-series) engine the Miata's was derived from. It's manufacture requires machinery that only Mazda possess. Ultimately, the Miata was meant to be an ultra affordable roadster, in the image of old school British roadsters, while the rotary range was meant to be the flagship.

Keep in mind that in 1989, when the Miata was released, Mazda was working on the FD (released in late '91 as a MY92 in Japan), which was suppose to be a technological tour de force, what with it's complex, twin sequential turbo system and no compromise, super car class chassis.

Once the Miata established itself as a sales leader, any idea of changing it significantly would have been an unnecessary risk for any Mazda decision maker, never mind that it's much harder to adsorb the extra cost at the lower price level the Miata needed to occupy.

Cliff notes: Miata - low-end sports car, RX7 - high-end sports car
so why didn't they consider a rotary for the "mazdaspeed" version, rather than a turbo?

the FD was a turbo rotary, the miata would have been a natural gateway car with a NA rotary that would have lowered production costs for the FD, whose market penetration was ultimately price limited.
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Old 08-26-2011, 07:51 AM   #72
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I hope this isn't the end of the rotary...
does this leave any production rotary in mazda's world wide lineup?
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Old 08-26-2011, 11:28 AM   #73
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Not currently, but who knows what the Frankfurt, Tokyo, or other upcoming shows will reveal for what could be a next-gen rotary-powered sports car.

I have a hard time believing that Mazda, that made it's bones on "zoom-zoom" and now are advertising their "only a car worth driving is worth building" thing...

That they'll leave RWD sports cars out of their lineup, other than just Miata.

I certainly hope something else is coming. They are talking about cooperating with Toyota to use a variant of Hybrid Synergy Drive, are they not?

Using a rotary as the mechanical input to such a system could be interesting, if it isn't too heavy, and could allow some engine management flexibility to cater to a Rotary's unique characteristics, like needing to be warmed up before being shut down. Start and stop while cold is not good for Rotaries... but a short electric only low-speed mode (to move the car to a different parking space, or something) could eliminate the need to cold-start-and-stop a rotary engine at all.
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Old 08-26-2011, 11:37 AM   #74
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I think we will eventually see another rotary but it may be a while. If Mazda had the money and the economy were better it would be sooner. A sub 2,500lb curb weight would do wonders with a new rotary engine. Using oil wasn’t an issue for me it’s the lack of torque and possibility of flooding. That and the slow straight line speed of course. Drop 500-750 lbs and add another 40 hp and I’d add it as a second car.
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Old 08-26-2011, 11:45 AM   #75
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elirentz View Post
You can't really separate the two. The RX8 is such a wonderful car because of the packaging allowed by the small size and low cg of the rotary. Yeah the 04's have issues but most of the trouble seen by owners is because of their ignorance of the engine. Hell watch the top-gear review, even Clarkson loves the engine.
true, true. but i can think of another engine that has a low cg but the cars they're in don't handle as well as the rx-8

mazda really does make great handling cars.

never was too impressed with their engines. the 2.3 disi (?) turbo in the ms3 is nice, but dies up top.
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