A Quick Guide to Mazda RX-8 Complete Engines

The Mazda RX-8 is a sports car that was manufactured between 2003 and 2012. The vehicle was powered by a unique rotary combustion engine called the Wankel. Replacing the complete engine with one of the many crate engines available on eBay can be a good way to extend the life of your RX-8, or you can add this unique engine to the vehicle of your choice.

What engine types are there for the Mazda RX-8?

During the nine-year run of the RX-8, Mazda only used one type of motor for the car. The model was called the 1.3L Renesis, or Wankel rotary. This is a small and light but powerful motor known for its reliability and its unique, chamberless design. The award-winning motor was created based on the experiments of German engineer Felix Wankel. Their small size and power-to-weight ratio make the motors good for kit cars or even light aircraft. Specifications for this motor include:

  • Aircraft aluminum body
  • Natural aspiration
  • Exhaust ports and a water jacket passage on the side of the housing
  • Displacement equal to that of a 2.6L engine
  • Can be used with both gasoline and hydrogen
  • A light weight of 247 lbs
  • 210-235 horsepower output capabilities
How long can an RX-8 motor last?

Mazda RX-8 motors are simple and reliable. Since there are not as many moving parts in these Wankel rotary motors, the motor should run for a long time. You can expect your replacement motor to last at least 200,000 miles. It is not uncommon for Mazda RX-8 owners to report theirs lasting well into the 400,000-mile range. Routine maintenance and how you drive play important parts in how long the motor will last. A well-maintained RX-8 motor should serve you for many years.

What are the performance capabilities of a 1.3L Wankel?

The Mazda RX-8 1.3L Wankel motor cranks out 232 horsepower when paired with a six-speed manual transmission. Six-speed automatic models go down a bit to 212 horsepower. It creates 159 pounds-feet of torque at 5,500 rotations per minute with either transmission system. Standard coupes should go from zero to 60 miles per hour in just around 15 seconds.

What conditions can you find RX-8 motors in?

Replacement motors can come in a number of different forms. They include:

  • As-is - These are motors that are pulled from RX-8 vehicles. They have typically been used and may have a range of mileages on them. They are typically OEM engines made for and driven in an original RX-8 vehicle.
  • Crate engines - These are new engines meant to drop into the machine with little to no modifications made. They may be made by the OEM manufacturer or by a third-party entity.
  • Third-party engines - These engines are made for Mazdas with slight modifications. They are designed for drivers who want their car to perform differently than the original.
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