• Jun 5, 2008
Click above for high-res gallery of the 2009 Mazda RX-8.

You've got to hand it to Mazda for its perseverance with the Wankel rotary engine design. Ever since it's engineers managed to make it semi-reliable, the turbine-like smoothness of the quick-spinning lump has seen duty in numerous Mazda-branded vehicles, and even a few others as well. Still, despite constant engineering work and updates to the basic rotary engine design, there is a lingering question about the reliability of the design. Most owners seem happy with the engines in their RX, that is, until a seal blows or they forget to keep the oil supply topped up and it fails to restart. Or it floods in the winter, needing a tow. Alright... so there may be a few problems.

To ease the minds of RX-8 owners and owners-to-be, Mazda has reportedly decided to extend the warranty coverage for the 2004-2008 Renesis rotary engine for a period of eight years or 100,000 miles. Mazda even goes so far as to offer reimbursement to those who've spent money on engine repairs before 100,000 miles. This seems like a nice measure made in good faith on Mazda's part. After all, most educated owners of the rotary-powered cars knew what they were getting when these purchases were made, and the engine was already covered under the same basic warranty that comes standard with all Mazda vehicles. Nice work, Mazda.

In the interest of full disclosure, this particular blogger bought an RX-8 new in 2004, though it was sold two years later.


[Source: RX8Club.com]


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 40 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      oh, and i AVERAGE 19mpg in 50/50 mixed highway/local driving, best car i've ever owned
      • 6 Years Ago
      The rotary is a fantastic engine. All we need is a good hydrogen fueling system and then the rotary can have its heyday.

      • 6 Years Ago
      Mazda is finally realizing that it's not the fault of their car, it's the fault of unimformed owners.
      For those who don't know how to take care of a rotary, and aren't told when they buy the car (or RTFM!), they are the majority that have the problems.
      Who but a small percentage of gearheads these days check thier fluids or let thier car warm up on a cold day anymore?
      Okay, so instead of coaching owners, Mazda tried to make the car more 'normal', and supposedly the 2009 is going to be the culmination of all the previous changes and then some.
      I've heard it uses less oil, and is all but impossible to flood. In the winter. So it won't need a tow.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Thank you MAZDA my 05 RX8 is so frakin thrilled.

      Zoom Zoom
      • 6 Years Ago
      glad to see mazda putting out this nice gesture to show their undying support for the rotary engine, in spite of all its quirks.

      *original owner of a 2004 RX-8 with almost 80,000 miles, not a SINGLE problem, and frequently tracked!*
      • 6 Years Ago
      This is pretty cool but I am sure it does not cover mods. What fun is a rotary engine with no mods?

      I had a love-hate relationship with a 2003 Third Gen RX-7. Man I loved that thing. Fast, fun, beautiful. Horrible gas consumption and very high maintenance. And by maintenance I am talking general maintenance. What a stunner though. Still a beautiful car in my eyes. The engine was sublime when running properly - even stock. Sucked getting maintenance done before the rx-8 came out. Most Mazda dealers would turn you away because they didn’t want to get involved. Had to find specialty shops - which is probably for the best anyway.

      Owning an RX-7 is like dating a supermodel. Its great fun but you pay for the play.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Yes, it DOES cover mods. So long as the mods didn't cause the failure. Read up on the Moss-Magnusson Warranty Act and related laws.
        • 6 Years Ago
        oops good catch! I meant 1993 RX7. Brain Fart. Oh and it was Manhattan Kansas. Red Touring model w/sunroof/ leather and the wierd bose system that had the accoustic thing taking up the entire hatch.
      • 6 Years Ago
      If any of the old skool GM'ers read about this they will once again be very happy they did not make any production rotary Corvettes.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I don't think they are that happy about it. They could have had a 700 HP four-rotor engine that weighed less and actually fit under the hood without any silly "windows". The 26B would have made the new ZR-1 just that much hotter.

        In case you don't remember, the 26B was the "semi-reliable" engine that powered the Mazda 787B to overall victory at the 24 Hours of LeMans. In 1991.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I looked at the RX-8. I liked it's design, all the little rotary details throughout...nice touch. I loved the interior and especially the back seats.

      When it came down to it though, I like modding and the car was just too slow to begin with. You can hit high 14's in the quarter....but I wanted faster.

      I went with a 4th gen Trans Am with the LS1 and then modded it. I have stayed with LSX engines since...you just can't beat the power and fuel efficiency.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I would already have an RX-8 if it weren't for the bad gas mileage.
        • 6 Years Ago
        tankd0g: What? Was that a joke attempt or just a racist slur?
        • 6 Years Ago
        19mpg, what is that Chinese gallons?
        • 6 Years Ago
        @Joel: I run premium. My commute is NO highway miles. Each way it's 20 miles in 40 minutes of two lane roads. Typical top speed 75 MPH briefly, with a couple stretches of 45-50 and a couple that are 30-35. Nine stop lights, three stop signs. Lots of traffic. Outside of that, very few highway miles. Total miles is 20,000.

        Worst mileage was 9 MPG ON THE TRACK! I filled up right before and right after the track so I could isolate track mileage. I think that ain't bad for hours of wide-open throttle.

        You might be able to decrease tire wear by not dumping the clutch at 7000 RPM at every light. ;-) I have noticed lots more wear on the rear tires than I'm used to. It's just too much fun not to hammer it around corners, isn't it?

        • 6 Years Ago
        Yeah, its mileage shocked me right out of the showroom when I ended up with a G35
        • 6 Years Ago
        @Paranoid
        What grade of gasoline are you using? Also, am I correct in assuming that you drive mostly freeway miles?

        I have put almost 69000 miles on my '04 RX-8. I have lived in Santa Cruz, San Francisco and San Rafael, CA and have only gotten 19 mpg averages while doing only freeway driving. In town driving I am lucky to get maybe 14 mpg. I solely use premium gasoline. However, I have never gotten below 13 mpg when I drive it like I stole it.

        Also, buying new tires yearly gets expensive, too. Every 12-15k miles. And yet, I rarely want another car.
        • 6 Years Ago
        @Paranoid - I am an aggressive driver, but I almost never rev the engine and drop the clutch off of the line. Also, unless I am driving in the gorgeous back roads here in Marin County, I almost never get above 7k RPMs. Every now and then I do hit redline in first to get on the freeway faster. As for your driving, some of it is freeway style it seems. But stop and go is the enemy of the rotary is what I have found. Could benefit from turbo or hybrid. Hell, if they put a hybrid in it, it would still weigh less than a G35/37.
        • 6 Years Ago
        @Paranoid
        • 6 Years Ago
        using premium on a n/a rotary is in all honesty silly.. Waste of money
        • 6 Years Ago
        @Paranoid & Joel

        Ummm...why are you guys using Premium? Is that what the manual says to use? My S4 N/A uses 87, and gets the best results with 87, HP and mileage. Even with a 21 year old car that was treated poorly by past owners, I still got mid-teens average, and that was mostly city driving. Yes, you would actually get worse results with higher octane, just because that's not what it's designed to handle (lots more unburned fuel), so I'm almost unsuprised about your low numbers (assuming that the Renesis was also designed for 87, which it may not have been, but I'm not sure).
        • 6 Years Ago
        What bad gas mileage? I drive mine like I stole it every day and have a lifetime average of 19 MPG. INCLUDING two track days!
      • 6 Years Ago
      they still need to add a turbo and make a follow-up to the RX-7. I'll never forget the dude with an RX7 years ago spanking everyone at the autocross.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I would like to see them turbo an RX-8, too. But tune it for gas mileage and efficiency, not speed. Its fairly fast as is. And with a new engine on the way... Good way to further differentiate a RX-8 from a possible future RX-7.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Man, I passed a '93 RX-7 the other day that was just baaaa-aaa-aaa-aaad. It looks like a million dollars, even today. The new RX-8 makes me want to jab a pickle fork into my eyes.
        • 6 Years Ago
        OK, I disagree with you about the looks of the 8, but the pickle fork comment made me laugh. Good stuff. Oh, I have a 93 RX-7 too, and yeah, it is dead sexy. :-)
      • 6 Years Ago
      I've owned two 2004 RX-8s and both had engine replacements. The first was done two years ago and was among the first to have the problem diagnosed by Mazda (and we had experienced the problem since 6 months and 10000 miles on the engine) -- it took a grueling 2 months in a rental car until they finally got a new engine in.

      The most recent was 3 weeks ago, and Mazda seems to have the system down to a science. I wouldn't have even been covered if it hadn't been for their original extension to 5 years and 60000 miles. I think Mazda has handled this extremely gracefully and is doing the right thing to extend the warranty.

      Despite two engine replacements, I couldn't be happier with Mazda's customer service. And I still love the RX-8!
    • Load More Comments