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Power Pages: 2004 Mazda RX-8

Tune It Power Is Everything

Dyno 1
Baseline
181 HP 128.6 TQ
Owner: Racing beat
Dynamometer Model: XS Engineering Dynojet 248

Notes
Ensuring the vehicle performs at its best, we opted to perform a quick tune-up on the vehicle by adding a set of new spark plugs.

Pros
You haven't driven a sports car until you've driven a rotary. There is something about tach'n out an engine to 9000 rpm while you effortlessly carve through a winding canyon road. There are few factory rides that have a 9000-rpm redline, but a Wankel at 9K is pure heaven. The Mazda RX-8 is the successor to the previous generation RX-7 and is the fourth generation of the RX-series of vehicle. Thankfully, Mazda didn't back away from performance like so many other car manufacturers who have jumped ship, and renewed the RX series. It is also noteworthy that they have stuck to their traditional rotary platform.

Cons
Say adios to the twin-turbo 13B. Mazda unfortunately replaced the potent twin-turbo variant for a more emission-friendly Renesis rotary engine (damn tree huggers). Rotary engines are notorious for breaking down and being difficult to work on. Rotary fans, however, will tell you it's just a matter of finding an experienced RX Mazda mechanic to take care of your baby. Another downside of the RX-8 is purely cosmetic. Some folks just don't like the new body. The best comparison I heard is that it looks like an angry guppy. Ouch. Although the RX-8 was rated at 238 hp at the flywheel from Mazda, we were only able to muster 181.0 hp to the wheels from it. That is almost a 24-percent loss of horsepower through the drivetrain!

Temperature
66 Degrees Fahrenheit

Dyno 2
Racing Beat REVi intake system
185.2 HP 132.2 TQ

2000 to 3500 HP average 0-2 2000 to 3500 TQ average 0-2
3500 to 5500 HP average 1-2 3500 to 5500 TQ average 1-2
5500 to redline HP average 2-5 5500 to redline TQ average 2-4
Peak Horsepower 185.2 Peak Torque 132.2

Parts
REVi intake box, cone filter, CNC mass air housing, misc. hardware, instruction and sticker.

Temperature
66 Degrees Fahrenheit
Temperature difference from previous run: 0 degree Fahrenheit

Tools
10mm socket, ratchet, standard and Phillip screwdrivers and 10mm wrench.

Installation time
1.5 to 2.0 hours

Pros
Racing Beat spent a lot of time in R&D before finally releasing the REVi intake system. Unlike some of the other systems on the market that increase the intake noise substantially, the REVi system is barely noticeable once installed. The key to the system is the enclosed intake box design. Besides reducing intake charge temperature, the box reduces intake noise.

Cons
In order to remove the factory intake system, you need to remove the front bumper. There are a lot of plastic clips and screws that need to be removed before the front bumper can be taken off. Most of our time spent installing the intake was spent removing and installing the front bumper.

Notes
To prevent your front bumper from being scratched, be sure to put something on the floor (i.e. blanket, sleeping bag) before you put the bumper on it. Racing Beat also offers a ram air duct system for the REVi intake. The ram air forces cool ambient air into the REVi intake box converting the system to a true cold-air system. In theory, the system should perform awesome on the road but unfortunately we were not able to test the ram air duct since we don't have access to a wind tunnel assisted dynamometer.

Pros
The Racing Beat exhaust system is not even noticeable at idle but at full throttle the exhaust system has a nice tolerable tone. The Racing Beat exhaust is a true high-quality piece featuring cast stainless-steel flanges and mandrel-bent polished stainless-steel piping. The dual exhaust system also features two polished 4-inch stainless-steel tips that exits through the factory rear fascia.

Cons
We were hoping for more power, but according to Racing Beat the factory exhaust system is fairly optimized already. According to Racing Beat, an RX-8 with an open exhaust only makes 4.5 hp to the wheels and unbearable to drive

NotesRotary engines produce a lot of exhaust heat and the factory exhaust system likes to retain a lot of it. Spray the hangers down with WD-40 for easier removal.

Parts
Exhaust system, gaskets and instructions.

Tools
14mm socket, ratchet and 14mm wrench

Temperature67 degrees FahrenheitTemperatures difference from previous run: +1 degrees Fahrenheit

Installation time
0.5 hour

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