Car: Mazda RX-8 R3
Owned since: May 2016
Previously owned: VW Golf MkII, Mitsubishi Colt, Mazda MX-5 MkI x2 and two other RX-8s (a 192 and another R3)
"I had owned two RX-8s previous to this one, starting with a blue R3. I loved it, but sadly the 2014 floods put paid to that! The budget was tight, so I bought a 2004 192hp RX-8 to tide me over, and it did well until the MOT failure sheet was rather long...
"Enter the new R3! I knew from my previous experiences that I wanted another RX-8, specifically an R3 as they come with some gorgeous alloys, more aggressive styling and some plush Recaro seats inside. The one that I'd found was somewhat of a bargain low-miler as it had previously been written off. The repairs looked good, and having owned a couple before, I knew my way around it with a spanner to fix any issues that may arise. I also knew the damage that had happened to it, which was almost all cosmetic front and rear."
What I wish I'd known:
"Not much, to be honest. I went in to it with eyes wide open in terms of the damage and thought I had the measure of some of the issues that it had because of it. I was soon stuck at a Cadwell Park track day though as the rear diff began whining quite badly... But I swapped that out thanks to an RX-8 breaker and Rotary Revs up in Batley and things have been happy ever since!"
"9,500rpm and a stainless steel exhaust! As per a quote on the CobraSport Exhaust reviews page it sounds 'Like god stepping on a Lego brick' - which is spot on. With the de-cat pipe on for track work it sound tested at 101dB!
"Beyond sounding like a wailing banshee, the chassis is just so well balanced with the engine nice and low and the 50/50 weight distribution. The handling is phenomenal regardless of whether you're on a country lane or a racing circuit.
"The drive of the rotary engine is also intoxicating. Low on torque, but high on revs, it just lures you in to pushing it up higher and higher in the rev range. Just wait until the remap happens and that limit creeps above 10,000..."
Things I hate:
"The new A6 Allroad which has replaced it as my daily driver! A lie, in truth, as I do like the barge for daily duties.
"Things I hate about the RX-8 are few and far between, the main ones being that you can't just move it around on the driveway without warming the engine up first. The fact it is a smidge too low to get on to my ramps at home mean I have to get wooden blocks out every time, and the fact that the exhaust has a propensity to melt the rear bumper on track days... You know, trivial things!"
"RX-8s aren't cheap things to run. Full stop. I bought into it knowing this full well, but it does still surprise me at times. The 19-inch alloys aren't cheap to put tyres on, it does around 23mpg day to day - which isn't ideal - although the oil consumption is far lower than the skeptics would have you believe. Road tax isn't so friendly up in the top bracket (£515 a year).
"Modifications aren't cheap for the R3 and replacement parts can be hard to come or expensive by as there were only about 800 originally sold in the UK before the EU emissions regulations put paid to new sales in the UK. Thankfully there are a lot of friendly breakers on the RX-8 Owners' Club forum, so you can find the odd part when you need it!"
Where I've been:
"All over the UK so far - up to Edinburgh, down to Brighton and all points in between. My job requires a fair amount of travel and up until two weeks ago it has been my daily driver, covering about 15,000 miles.
"A supercharger? Oh, next car?! I don't know. I can't envisage selling it any time soon as the rotary engine is just so special. I'd love to get a completely standard FD RX-7, but the amount of money they're commanding at the moment is crazy. I think I'd quite like to have a go in something big and V8 - complete opposite end of the spectrum - something with all the torque in the world but that doesn't like to turn corners."