Day 2

Getting in and out of the RX-8 is surprisingly easy on the body. On the spirit, that's a different matter. The car rides low but the seats don't force odd contortions on exiting. Getting someone to actually leave the driver's seat is the hard part. Perhaps because I've been stuck testing SUVs and wagons for the past few weeks I'm falling too much in love with a sports car. And it's very easy to fall in love with this sports car. The cabin is all encompassing but offers considerable visibility with tiny side-view mirrors and significant glass in the rear. Black is the dominant color inside with only a few hints of brushed aluminum, especially alluring are the ultra-slim door handles. The leather seats feature ribbing like some popular motorcycle jackets. Touches like that score big points with the enthusiast set. There's also a whole rotary theme going on in the RX-8. Obviously the 238-hp engine is a rotary, but the triangle-like rotor shape is seen in the headrests, shift knob and even on the front fascia.

But better than the looks is the driving experience. Still stuck in the city I'm eternally thankful that the clutch is so easy on the hamstring and the short shifter is as smooth as silk. Even if you're rusty with a stick shift, the RX-8 offers plenty of forgiveness. A lot of people see the horsepower figure and assume the RX-8 isn't fast, but it certainly flies down the street when I've found some open road. The bright red color has made me an easy target for traffic violations but I try and keep my relatively clean traffic history untarnished. We'll see if I can keep it that way over the next few days. A look back at Day One.



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