December 10, 2007
RX-8 UPDATE: So far, after four years I've had no problems with the car. But the original-equipment tires went bad. I noticed an increasingly-loud roaring noise from the rear at speed, and it turned out the tread had "cupped." Apparently this is a problem with a lot of low-profile tires. I replaced them and it was like getting a new car. I replaced the Bridgestone Potenzas that were original equipment with Kumho Ecsta SPT tires of the same size. They seem at least as grippy, and considerably quieter and comfier than the Bridgestones were even when new. They were very reasonably priced, considering that they're big, wide, low-profile ultra-high-performance tires. Replacing the tires isn't news -- they were four years old and even though I don't drive the car every day they were ready to be replaced. It's the subtlety with which the noise built up, and caused me to enjoy driving the car less without quite grasping the reason at first. Very glad to have that gone.
UPDATE: Reader Bill Nickless emails: "My RX-8 is my daily driver, so with ice and snow in the winter I can't run either the original equipment Bridgestones nor the Kumho Ecstas. But with Bridgestone Blizzaks the RX-8 is an excellent winter car. It's 17 degrees F here in Richland Washington this morning, with an inch of snow on the road in front of my house, and I'm not worried at all about my 10 mile commute."
Yeah, I had a first-gen RX-
8 7 (a 1980 model) and it was pretty tailhappy even on dry roads, and kind of iffy on anything slick. The new ones are much better in general, so this doesn't surprise me.