Over the year benidormclubdeportivo.org has had actually some pretty exciting performance car grudge matches. We love to pit the ideal of the best against each other and also see who’s left standing at the end up line. Who room our latest rivals? Two great sports cars, the Mazda RX-8 and also the Nissan 350Z. So, who’s going come eat who dust?

That’s a hard question, since both the 2004 Nissan 350Z and 2004 Mazda RX-8 have gained all the tools and tricks to deliver potent performance and satisfaction.

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This Nissan 350Z Touring version is famed to benidormclubdeportivo.org viewers. We spent a year with one and loved every minute the it. The was after the 350Z winner our Drivers’ choice Best that the Year award because that 2003, an award the it earned because that its no-nonsense, 2-seat, sports vehicle character.

Much of our affection is because of a no-nonsense drivetrain. The 350Z package a 3.5-liter, twin-cam, multi-valve V6 the willingly pumps out 287 horsepower and also 274 pound-feet that torque. Our wanted transmission is the sharp, direct, close-ratio 6-speed manual.

The drivetrain is fine matched to the chop multi-link suspension, i m sorry delivers the kind of serious handling that we thought was shed in an er of sport-utes the handle much more like school buses. However in the rapidly transforming marketplace, the Z’s number one nemesis is no a sport-ute. It’s the Mazda RX-8, the controversial successor to the hallowed Mazda RX-7 which benchmarked the front-engine rear-drive sports car world from 1978 to 1996.

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The RX-8 is a various kind of sporting activities car. Unlike the Z, the RX-8 is designed come accommodate more than simply two hard-core speed freaks. Its distinct 4-door body opens right into an upscale 4-seat cabin, for this reason you can take the whole family, albeit a young one, because that a blast down a twisty road, i m sorry is easily eaten up by Mazda’s unique rotary engine. This recent twin-rotor version displaces 1.3-liters, and also with our car’s manual gearbox, produce 238 horsepower and 159 pound-feet that torque.

The RX-8’s 6-speed manual gearbox and also a tight, quick throw shifter it is provided a feel much like that of the Z. The double-wishbone front, multi-link behind suspension is chop and precise on road, with a ride the is less choppy 보다 the 350Z. But how well does the softer RX-8 measure up up against the razor-sharp 350Z on the sort of asphalt that separates the true sports automobile from sports coupes? the is, on a race track. An ext specifically, our favourite southern roadway course, Savannah, Georgia’s Roebling roadway Raceway.

First up room acceleration runs. On one icy cold track, the much more powerful Z roared come 60 in 6.1-seconds. It took the 4 minutes 1 mile in 14.8 seconds at 100 miles-per-hour. The Z’s V6 engine has actually a gutsy growl and is all-day-long strong, v reserve power easily accessible across the entire rev band.

By comparison, the RX-8, i m sorry is 200 pounds lighter, offers away 49-horsepower. This outcomes in a slow 0 to 60 operation of 6.6 seconds, and a 4 minutes 1 mile the 15.2 seconds at 93 miles-per-hour. The cold asphalt hurt every the times contrasted to our original road tests. However while Mazda’s rotating engine doesn’t rev as fast as the Z’s V6, the is five so much smoother. It additionally required a lot an ext revs because that a strong launch.

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Hitting the corners, the 350Z pushes the front just a little on turn-in, and then hunkers down and also grips like a gorilla. The engine-speed-sensitive power steering is nicely weighted, v very an excellent feedback. Weight is biased slightly in the direction of the front, i m sorry led our Touring model’s 18-inch tires to wear quickly, producing a noticeable increase in understeer together the test day go on. Yet the snappy strength delivery allows you to spin the behind tires at will, and also use power-on oversteer to point the auto when the front push gets too heavy.

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The RX-8 is additionally quick right into the corners, however feels lighter on its feet. Balance is better, no doubt due to the Rotary’s lighter mass end its prior 18-inchers. That also made the RX easier on prior tread wear, allowing the driver to carry more speed through the corner. The electric assisted power steering has less feedback 보다 on the Z, yet the automobile responds quicker to minor corrections. The engine’s narrow power band demands to be kept in between 7-and-9,000 rpm for adequate thrust, no always simple thing to do, yet it rewards that initiative with significant punch from mid-corner come the end of the next straight.

When you ultimately run the end of straightaway, you need an excellent brakes, which both cars provide in the kind of 4-wheel discs v standard ABS. Stopping distances from 60 were almost identical, with the Nissan acquisition 117 feet, if the Mazda forced 119 feet. Both set of brakes delivered plenty the bite and great feedback at the pedal.

And both cars delivered plenty of fun on the track, albeit with an extremely different characters. It’s tough to pick a favorite. But, based upon track power alone, our drivers found themselves leaning much more towards the RX-8, thanks to its smoothness and balance in quick corners.

Now, if you want to think about styling, in the 350Z’s favor, versatility, earlier in the RX-8 camp, and also everyday drivability, awarded to the broader power tape of the 350Z, climate the tilt walk the various other way.

Will price sway the outcome? Well, base sticker labels for both car are really close, $27,200 for the Mazda RX-8 manual, and also $26,930 because that the Nissan 350Z manual. But you need to upgrade the Z to Touring trim because that 18-inch wheels and also high performance tires which space standard ~ above the hands-on RX-8. V that the Z’s price jumps to $33,840.

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So in a mano a mano road course grudge match, who ate whose dust? Well, when you variable in performance, refinement, and bang-for-the-buck, that looks favor the Nissan 350Z suck up just a little an ext grit 보다 our winner, the Mazda RX-8. Yet it was a nearby match, a complement that we’ll be glad come repeat any type of time the we have the right to put these enticingly-fast sporting activities cars, and an empty gyeongju track, together as one.