2009 Mazda RX-8 R3 Review
by Marc Bouchard / Auto123.com
Snuggly set behind the wheel, you drive the car as if it was a roller-coaster wagon, gobbling corner after corner without even feeling the outside forces that so desperately try to send the machine into a tailspin. Sure, the takeoff wasn’t very electrifying, but once up to speed, you can shred the perfect line almost every time out.
Is it a race car? No, just a factory sports coupe, namely the 2009 Mazda RX-8 R3. A while ago, Auto123.com put it to the test on the roads of the Laurentides as well as on Circuit ICAR in Mirabel, Quebec, as part of a 6-car comparison test. Despite being fairly old, this model fared pretty well, mind you.
Grace and curves
The sporty little Mazda looks like nothing else on the road. The big, muscular front fenders work to create an athletic crouching stance. Meanwhile, the headlight clusters, like a pair of joyful eyes (that’s the latest trend at Mazda), flank the prominent and aerodynamic grille. The recently-redesigned front section is quite well executed, even more so with the R3 body kit.
Overall, the silhouette does seem a bit disproportioned, especially in terms of length versus height. You quickly get used to it, though. My R3 tester, in particular, looked striking thanks to a set of 19-inch wheels and a rear spoiler, further emphasizing the sporty aspirations of the RX-8.
Inside, this coupe is a success… at least for normal-size folks. The R3 model adds ultra-supportive Recaro sports seats that do an excellent job of holding your body in check, which is perfect for tackling corners at any speed.
As for the dashboard, it’s similar to what you’ll find in just about every other Mazda: relatively plain and unexciting but nevertheless effective and ergonomic.