As the only modern company to build and market the Wankel rotary engine, Mazda has always been a bit of an outlier. Still, the RX-8 and its predecessor, the RX-7, are popular with niche tuners who can work magic with wishbones. It takes dedication and fanaticism to want to take on a rotary engine as a project. But when you’re right, there’s nothing like it. The RX-8 is the successor to the popular RX-7 and is today the only rotary sports car that can be easily and affordably obtained. But once you have it, the after-sales support remains solid.
With no valves and camshafts, the focus of tuning a rotary engine is to squeeze as much air and fuel into the engine as possible. The best upgrades for an RX-8 include an upgraded intake, exhaust and ignition system in conjunction with an ECU flash. A simple and affordable way to improve handling is to install a coilover set, because the RX-8 shines when pushed through corners. Additionally, online retailers such as Mazdatrix And racing beat specialize in rotary performance and include many guides for upgrades and installation.
The RX-8 is a car that could become a future classic with high auction values, but that hasn’t happened yet and they can be had at an affordable price. With the exception of extraordinarily well-preserved cars, used RX-8 models can be easily found for between $5,000 and $10,000.