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R3 Performance vs Sport/GT?

Old 12-01-2010, 02:35 PM
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R3 Performance vs Sport/GT?

I don't think I've really seen this discussed here before, I'm curious if anyone has done any real performances tests of the R3 vs the non-R3 models. It would be interesting know to know if there is any truth to Mazda's increased performance claim. I'm specifically thinking in terms of numbers that would be affected by the R3 trim: skidpad, slalom, lap times around a road course. Obviously there isn't much point in comparing 0-60 times.

My guess is there is little, if any difference. The wheels and body kit/spoiler are probably mostly for looks. The only real question mark is how much of a difference the bilstein shocks and "sport-tuned suspension" make. I test-drove both sport and R3 trims and I thought I felt a difference, but honestly I didn't have much experience with sports cars so I probably wasn't the most perceptive person.

Being an R3 owner, Im perfectly happy with my decision even if it is mostly an appearance package, I was just wondering if anyone had any real numbers.

Also lets please keep this between S2 Sport/GT/R3, I don't want this to devlove into another S1 vs S2 debate.
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Old 12-01-2010, 02:47 PM
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Weight is the issue as well as the Bilsteins. The leather power seats are very, very heavy. they always have been. But it's a moot point as most people are not really good drivers on the track anyway. But, if you were to put a professional driver behind the wheel of a GT and an R3, i am sur eth R3 would win but I doubt by a huge margin.
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Old 12-01-2010, 03:12 PM
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AFAIK, R3 is slower 0-60, heavier than an older model GT (?)

but its better for in-gear acceleration and cornering ability...
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Old 12-01-2010, 03:52 PM
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According to Mazda's specs there is no weight difference between a M/T GT and R3 but that is BS. I have removed a power leather seat from an RX8 and I can tell you that it weighs at least twice as much as a cloth does.

I read somewhere that the R3 is 90 pounds lighter but i can't find that info anywhere.

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Old 12-01-2010, 04:23 PM
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^^ Lighter seats is a good point, didn't consider that.

For discussion's sake I'm gonna ad some quotes from mazdausa.com:

RX-8 R3 Features
Designed for the ultimate driving enthusiast, the R3 offers exclusive details that boost RX-8's already stellar performance.
- Lightweight BBS 19-inch forge aluminum alloy wheels help reduce unsprung weight without sacrificing strength
- 225/40R19 W-speed rated summmer tires help improve steering response and grip
- Side sill extensions help improve aerodynamics while giving a lower-looking stance
- Body-color rear wing adds looks and function, helping to improve high-speed stability
The side sills helping aerodynamics and the spoiler (not a wing) improving high-speed stability both seem pretty unlikely or minimal at best. I'd like to see some scientific proof of this, anyone want to test this in their wind-tunnel?


Alloy Wheels
The 2011 RX-8 screams rotary - all the way down its distinctive wheels.
- Stylish alloy wheels have rotary shapes worked into the design
- Lightweight, 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels are standard on Sport and Grand Touring
- R3 features ultra-light 19-inch forged aluminum-alloy wheels with W-speed rated high-performance tires.
The R3 wheels don't seem too light. They are aslo bigger diameter than the standard wheels which usually means heavier. As far as the tires, don't the Sport and GT also come with max performance summer tires?

Step up to the R3 for firmer Bilstein shock absorbers and a urethane-foam-injected front suspension cross member that takes the R3's handling up another level.
R3 Features:
Performance-tuned suspension with Bilstein shock absorbers
Besides the Bilsteins, I'm curous what the differences in the "performance-tuned suspension" are.
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Old 12-01-2010, 04:38 PM
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R3's also don't come with a sunroof. I know it's not much but with the seats and roof it has to help a little. Who knows how much having urethane in the crossmembers adds however.
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Old 12-01-2010, 04:41 PM
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R3 basically is just a sport touring with some small upgrades, but small upgrades add up to a lot.
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Old 12-01-2010, 04:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Kafka View Post
AFAIK, R3 is slower 0-60, heavier than an older model GT (?)

but its better for in-gear acceleration and cornering ability...
doesnt make sense better in-gear acceleration but slower 0-60?
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Old 12-01-2010, 04:50 PM
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Well Bilsteins is a significant difference in it's self because on a shock dyno they typically perform very well and they are able to be revalved. And I doubt the 19" R3 wheels weigh much more than the 18's since I believe they are forged and the 18's are cast. But we are doing a mod day this Saturday and I will weigh my buddies R3 wheels.
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Old 12-01-2010, 04:55 PM
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Originally Posted by 9krpmrx8 View Post
Well Bilsteins is a significant difference in it's self because on a shock dyno they typically perform very well and they are able to be revalved. And I doubt the 19" R3 wheels weigh much more than the 18's since I believe they are forged and the 18's are cast. But we are doing a mod day this Saturday and I will weigh my buddies R3 wheels.
the Bilsteins are very firm, bumpy.
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Old 12-01-2010, 05:00 PM
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^ That's good on the track
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Old 12-01-2010, 05:08 PM
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A better comparison is between a Sport and an R3. The R3 adds certain conveniences, like climate control, keyless start and fog lights, among other things, which all add weight. Now, also, consider that they didn't remove any weight from the R3, yet they added bigger wheels and side skirts, among other things. The Recaro seats probably weigh as much as standard cloth seats, so really, it comes down to the suspension.

The Bilstein's and mild rigidity improvements should shave off fraction around a track and in tests of grip. In a drag I'm sure they would perform almost exactly the same.

The Grand Touring adds a lot of technology, luxury and, thusly, weight. HIDs, climate control, leather, sunroof, rain sensing wipers, auto on/off lights and everything else just adds to the weight, which is on a stock suspension, which makes me think it would perform even worse than a Sport.

Also, remember that the Sport has only ABS, while all the others have ABS and TCS.

This is all I know. Sorry if anything is wrong.
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Old 12-01-2010, 05:11 PM
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True, forgot about the Sport. They also ditched the Touring so I believe you can only get the Sport, GT, and R3 now.
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Old 12-01-2010, 05:12 PM
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Old 12-01-2010, 05:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Polish Person View Post
A better comparison is between a Sport and an R3. The R3 adds certain conveniences, like climate control, keyless start and fog lights, among other things, which all add weight. Now, also, consider that they didn't remove any weight from the R3, yet they added bigger wheels and side skirts, among other things. The Recaro seats probably weigh as much as standard cloth seats, so really, it comes down to the suspension.

The Bilstein's and mild rigidity improvements should shave off fraction around a track and in tests of grip. In a drag I'm sure they would perform almost exactly the same.

The Grand Touring adds a lot of technology, luxury and, thusly, weight. HIDs, climate control, leather, sunroof, rain sensing wipers, auto on/off lights and everything else just adds to the weight, which is on a stock suspension, which makes me think it would perform even worse than a Sport.

Also, remember that the Sport has only ABS, while all the others have ABS and TCS.

This is all I know. Sorry if anything is wrong.
This is good input, thanks. It would be cool to get actual weight figures for all the trims.

One more thing to take into consideration, the GT and R3 both have the LSD unlike the sport. I would think that would be one of the biggest difference makers around a track.
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Old 12-01-2010, 05:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Mr.ThunderMakeR View Post
This is good input, thanks. It would be cool to get actual weight figures for all the trims.

One more thing to take into consideration, the GT and R3 both have the LSD unlike the sport. I would think that would be one of the biggest difference makers around a track.
I wouldn't want to track without LSD and/or DSC.
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Old 12-01-2010, 05:45 PM
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small correction. All Manuals have LSD... carry on
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Old 12-01-2010, 05:52 PM
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Originally Posted by 9krpmrx8 View Post
I wouldn't want to track without LSD and/or DSC.
Why would you want the DSC on track except if it's raining? If I forget it starts acting up (braking wheels) on almost the 1st corner of any track I've been on.
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Old 12-01-2010, 05:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Spin9k View Post
Why would you want the DSC on track except if it's raining? If I forget it starts acting up (braking wheels) on almost the 1st corner of any track I've been on.
I meant without LSD I would want DSC. But all the manuals have it so it's a moot point. But Honestly I have never had a problem with DSC the few times I have been on a real track but then again I am not very competitive either
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Old 12-01-2010, 06:44 PM
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Originally Posted by 9krpmrx8 View Post
I meant without LSD I would want DSC. But all the manuals have it so it's a moot point. But Honestly I have never had a problem with DSC the few times I have been on a real track but then again I am not very competitive either
I need to get an LSD for my auto. Haha. Sounds retarded, but whatever. I drive in a city and screw clutching every light, especially with students everywhere.
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Old 12-02-2010, 09:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Symbioticgenius View Post
small correction. All Manuals have LSD... carry on
Huh you learn something new every day.
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Old 12-02-2010, 09:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Mr.ThunderMakeR View Post
The side sills helping aerodynamics and the spoiler (not a wing) improving high-speed stability both seem pretty unlikely or minimal at best. I'd like to see some scientific proof of this, anyone want to test this in their wind-tunnel?
Basically, the less air you have under the car, the better. There is an eco modders website, and a lot of the guys there have huge lips to keep air from under the car. This helps stability and aerodynamics as well. I don't have any scientific proof, but it's what works.
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Old 12-02-2010, 12:04 PM
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Just face it, they're slow slugs compared to the series I
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Old 12-02-2010, 12:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Beodude View Post
Basically, the less air you have under the car, the better. There is an eco modders website, and a lot of the guys there have huge lips to keep air from under the car. This helps stability and aerodynamics as well. I don't have any scientific proof, but it's what works.
the less air you have under the car, the little it will create a high pressure area under a car, and high pressure creates force towards low pressure area causing lift.
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Old 12-02-2010, 12:41 PM
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I'm wondering what the "equivalent" setting of the Bilsteins in the R3 would be compared to my 9-way PSS9s. I'm guessing somewhere in the middle.
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