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There just isn't much public awareness of the RX-8, and it's not even going to be out for some time, wheras the Z is available now. Of course, it's not stopping me from bugging everyone around me about how cool the RX-8 is going to be.
I also think the Z due to the car's heritage/mistique factor and also Nissan has been advertising the car very well. That said if the RX-8 comes through on the potential performance/fuel economy/reliability numbers it will be a better car than the Z imo. Lighter, 4 seats, more trunk room, better handling, very similar acceleration numbers. If only Mazda marketed the damn thing already!
As a former Z-car and Nissan fanatic, I'm trying to like the Z's styling. I really, really am. Powertrain is top-notch, but it is not innovative in the least in styling. Someone shot themselves in the foot with the better-looking G35 coupe offering the same engine, imho. I parked next to a spankin-new black Z yesterday at the store and first reaction was "Wow, the new Z!" Then after a walk-around, window-peering and comparison with my FD, I walked away smiling. pwned!
I wasn't nit-picking either, it's just that the overall package from several view angles appears rushed, sanitary, non-agressive, and an "infinitized" coupe. I dunno, maybe it's just me, but it is lethargic-looking and uninspiring for a sports car.
If it's "biggest impact in 2003?", I'd agree that it's probably the Z. If it's the "biggest impact in the long run?", then a successful RX-8 will have a much larger impact. The return of the rotary, the rebirth of the RX-7, and the return of Mazda to enthusiast oriented cars (other than the Miata) is a much bigger deal than another big overweight 2-seater.
...if it does all that it says for a topped out price less than 30k. One of the many things that bothers me about the 350Z is that its starting price of 27k sounds inviting, but a nice track model costs 34k+. For me, 30k is my limit. I'm hoping I can get a "R1" or "track" model for under 30k. The price may make the difference for alot of people.
To answer the question correctly, it would help if we knew what they meant by impact. If they mean sales, then yeah, the 350Z will sell more in 2003. It will have a huge head start.
But I'm interpreting impact as a significant or major effect. I think the effect on the market and future models from all manufactures will be far greater on the RX-8.
You can already see the effect the RX-Evolve has had on the market, by other manufactures concepts that they are toying with. The RX-8 will be the first car to combine sports car styling and performance into a four door car with practical rear seats and trunk space. It will use the innovative Regenisis engine making 250 hp out of 1.3 NA liters! It's already been called the most beautiful car out of Japan ever. I could go on and on. All this for at a price around $30,000 which is the least expensive on their poll. The 350Z is the only car even close in price with the others are a minimum of $20,000 more. Just think what Mazda could have come up with if they planned on selling them for $55,000+.
The Nissan 350Z which seems like the runaway winner of that poll would be about the least innovative car on that list. Not that I don't like it, I'm excited about them. I would never buy one personally since it's only a two-seater, but I'm glad they'll be out there on the road. But really, what kind of effect or impact will it have? What's innovative about it? Not they styling...they stole that from the Audi TT. Not the engine, they've been using that basic engine in Maximas for years. Not that I dislike the engine, I'll soon be buying a G35 sedan with the VQ in it and I love the rush of accelleration and power it provides. But how impactful can the 350Z be if I'm getting a family car that's basically a stretched 350Z. If that's the case then the G35 should be on there since it came out first.
When voting at Car & Driver for the obvious winner, I couldn't help but notice that all the other five cars including the RX-8 ARE NOT ON THE MARKET YET!
This prompted me to drop a note to the editor asking what conclusions did they expect to draw from such a meaningless survey. I suggested that they should try it again after all the cars are available and the see what the results are.:o
'04 RX-8, Titanium, Red/Black, No Kitchen Sink...
Originally posted by Toadman I parked next to a spankin-new black Z yesterday at the store and first reaction was "Wow, the new Z!" Then after a walk-around, window-peering and comparison with my FD, I walked away smiling.
I parked nose to nose with a Blue 350z the other day with my Black R1 FD. I was like "Wow a Z!" too. But The looks and performance of my FD womps the Z! FD3S is the best sports car ever!
If it ain't a rotor, it ain't a motor!