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after scouring the internet for anything new about the rx-8, i stopped by over at nissandriven.com to find out about what they were doing with their new 350z. i was amazing at the strides they've taken in the production of their new model and especially the pre-order section. the rx-8 and 350z are supposed to be in head-to-head competition for the same target auto consumers, and mazda has done nothing of late to help itself. while we are here scrounging around for any new sliver of half-truth about the rx-8, people intent on purchasing a 350z can build their own cars, get the exact figures on what their options will cost them, and then they can print them out and take it to their nearest nissan dealer so they can place the order.
it would also seem that the anticipation for the rx-8 has been around far longer than it has for the 350z. so, while we have been waiting and hoping for mazda to come out and tell us not to worry and to let us start deciding on which options to spend our hard earned cash on, we instead get half-truths and lies from dealers looking to sell us the second coming of christ in a car. we are left with nothing but a handful of empty hopes (yet again and again) while those looking for the 350z can smile on their way to the dealers.
when i went to the mazda site at mazdausa.com i thought i might find something new...and i did. they've began pushing the new mazda 6 for the beginning of 2003. that's great, but i dont think that there's nearly as much hype for the 6 than there is for the rx-8. it's great you have a new model, and perhaps more will be sold, but that's in part due to the different audience.
so we wait and wait and we all tell ourselves that if we come back here, someone will have something new that they heard FROM YOU (mazda) and that we can put our money on. but it's the same things from dealers and the same hopes from the loyal posters here at the forum.
come on mazda, throw us a bone.
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The 350Z is on sale this Autumn, so it makes sense Nissan is releasing information on the car now. It will be in dealerships within a few months, so at this point they've obviously finalized packages and pricing and are starting the marketing hype. The RX-8 isn't at the same stage yet. It won't be released until 2003, and it doesn't sound as if packages and pricing have been finalized. Even if they have, starting the buildup now makes no sense: the car's still too far off. Mazda is right to put its marketing effort into the 6. After that is succesfully launched they can shift to the RX-8. Focusing on two cars on once muddles their message to the public, and might undermine the success of the 6. They really want the general public and car magazines to see it as a true competitor to the Accord or Camry, and the sporting choice among family sedans.
What makes you say the date has been pushed back? Dates that are more than a year out are notorious for being pushed back in the automotive business. Since the date was "announced" in the R&T article, I haven't heard it being pushed back.
dunny hit the nail on the head, the Z is coming out in just a few months, the RX-8 is going to be out next year. It's crazy to expect Mazda to know options and prices that much earlier than Nissan did.
He also got it right that the 6 is where the effort should be for Mazda. Not only is it coming out much sooner, but it will need more promotion. You're not going to see "Mazda6forum.com", just because it's a family sedan. Those don't have the built in buzz that a car like the 8 does. Mazda will have to sell the 6 to everyone, while the RX-8 could probably sell out with no advertising.
The 6 is also the car that will fill Mazda's pockets. In order to be able to build more cars like the RX-8 they need to sell a lot of 6's.
The 6 looks to be a great car, and should most certainly be the top pick of the Accord, Altima, Camry, and 6. It looks to have the all around quality, handling, ride, interior quality, and looks to put it at the top of the class. About time too. The 626 was a joke.
I wouldn't say the 626 was a joke, if you wanted a V6 with a manual for under 20k, it was about the only game in town. Also, since they sold so poorly (compared with the Accord, Camry, etc.) great deals could be had. It's not too tough to pick up a loaded V6, 5-speed for 5 grand or more under the price of the competition. Even with the weaker engine, that does make it a pretty good choice for many.
Thanks for the correction about the 6 forum; I never would have guessed that there would be any hype over a new sedan. Weird.
I totally agree with you there on Mazda's lackluster support for this product. Yes the 6 is coming, but I remember a few months ago when the new Altima came out, and Nissan had this enormous Flash thingy about the 350z on the front of their webpage. Now the Altima is where Nissan makes the money, but the Z is the image for the company. The same is true for Mazda. Yes the 6 is needed to make money, but the RX-8 is the flagship.
With any flagship car, people who can't afford it are sometimes attracted to lesser offerings of the brand. My point in all this is, Mazda should do more. They should read this message board regularly, get ideas, and they should post to it. I read Z message boards, and employeess regularly post on them. They don't seem to here, or at least not openly. I have a feeling that Nissan is a much better organized company than Mazda, especially considering Mazda is run by Ford, who can't very well run themselves.
I don't think Mazda is aiming at the 350Z to be its competitor. By default as hisorical Japanese companies the comparison and history between the two is inevitable. But both are now owned by Renault and Ford respectively. Each parent company seems to have a different vision for where they are taking Mazda and Nissan.
Nissan's engineers have already been quoted as taking aim at the Porsche BoxsterS.
If Mazda's history is taken into account, Mazda made the deliberate move with the FC to break away from the Z and take on the Porsche 944 Turbo with it's TurboII.
The RX-8's dimensions are only slightly larger than a Porsche 911. The RX-8's rear multi-link suspension has largely been engineered based on the 911. This is not to say that I think Mazda can persuade a 911 buyer to purchase a RX-8 instead, but I see the other more passenger oriented cars like the arriving Lancer Evolution, WRX and M3 as more comparable.