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I was so dead set to get a Mercedes C230 Coupe. It was within my price range 25K-30K and it was much better than the other car in the competition the RSX Type-S.
But after reading the article and seeing that it "possibly" might just be under $30K fully loaded, the RX-8 is going to be the car to get. All that HP 0-60 in 6 seconds, good room in the back and the interior is awesome. My perception is that it's going to be an "affordable" Porsche.
I can't hardly wait to test drive one. I'm in no hurry to get a new car so I can be patient. Now what color. I think red or silver.
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Ford is not Mazda. They simply own 33.4% of them. This allows them to have a vote on the board and for them to have more pulling power. However, Mazda can still make decisions independent of Ford management in Dearborn. They may share parts and such. Think of it more like Toyota/GM with the Prizm/Corolla, Vibe/Matrix type stuff rather than Mazda as a Japanese Ford.
Ford realizes what Mazda is good at, which is great engineering and reliable well built vehicles.....something Ford is NOT good at. Ford is good at cost cutting and suspension tuning. So, Mazda gets a little extra in the economics department while still doing their engineering miracles.
I don't think Mazda would ever let Ford control them enough to build pieces of junk when their cars have a reputation for reliability.