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Porsche Boxster, Mazda RX-8: In the spotlight zone

For a long time test cars did not arouse such interest of others: drivers, pedestrians, traffic police officers. The latter followed the car with gaze, but it seemed they simply forgot to raise the rod.

Both cars received attention in full, but it was different. The red Mazda RX-8 aroused curiosity and a desire to measure strength. Many people have sinned this: from the owners of the “nines” to the owner of the Mercedes S-class, who, having suddenly parted with an unfinished cigarette and a quiet imposing tempo, quite befitting his car, tried to play with the red coupe to catch up.

The black Porsche-Boxster S gave rise to more reverence and even some kind of trepidation. On the highway, it was only a little closer to the usual ride to the driver in front, the left lane suddenly found himself free. Wishing to compete was not. And right!

Genetic Engineering

The difference in the cost of test cars, to put it mildly, is noticeable – almost doubled. True, the prices of the “Boxster” model start from 69 thousand dollars. A test machine “to the eyeballs” was filled with options that do not affect either the engine or the suspension. It is curious that, for example, company logos on the headrests cost … 193 euros.

Prices, of course, are very important. But in order to reduce the “Mazda” and “Porsche” in an internal duel, there are several equally compelling reasons. Both cars, as they say, are cult, their names are overgrown with legends. Both have strong genes – original proprietary technical solutions that have not been changed for decades. “Mazda” for over 35 years does not refuse from rotary engines, and “Porsche”, inheriting the concept of the late 1930s, continues to build boxer motors. Designers “Mazda”, contrary to fashion, chose the classic layout for the RX-8, and the engineers of the Porsche still consider: the best place for the engine is at the back (at Boxster, however, in the base).

Another reason for comparison: the common and very important gene “Mazda” and “Porsche” – they were created in order to deliver special pleasure to the owners with design, speed, controllability and to envy others. For this they forgive a lot.

Other dimension

The first forgiveness is for landing. By squeezing the body between a small but thick steering wheel and a sporty chair, you unwittingly pull up – you want to be as flexible and lean as cars.

Visibility, of course, also appreciate, adjusted for the class of cars. But, despite the laws of the genre, the difference is noticeable. The “Mazda”, which is not outwardly small at all, strongly inclined front pillars have an eye blister that is somehow particularly intrusive. Sitting down in a Porsche, you fear that it will be even worse: you will end up in something close to a formula car. Instead of a helmet, an awning, an overview only forward and into small exterior mirrors. However, the posts are more vertical and positioned so that problems at intersections almost do not arise. Only when leaving to the main road at an acute angle, you have to lean forward strongly to see the situation through the embrasure of the side window. The mad dynamics of the car helps to join the flow. The main thing is that there is not another Porsche on the left …

With a quiet ride especially to get used to the “Mazda” is not necessary. But, quickly accustomed to driving, you begin to notice that the head of even a not very tall driver almost touches the ceiling, the seats are comfortable, but for a sports car it is not deep enough – they allow fidgeting. And the tunnel between the seats is too wide – it creates a feeling of stiffness. Gearbox lever for quick work is too short, and to get from fifth to sixth gear, you need to slightly shift the handle to the right. I remember the same thing, it was at Mazda, which one of the authors tried six months ago. A little cramped pedals. The reactions of the RX-8 to pedal actions are perhaps too soft for a sports car, but understandable, easily predictable.

Porsche controls are noticeably heavier. But they quickly evoke confidence: the lever of the box will go exactly where it should be, and the roadster will respond perfectly and quickly to any pedal when pressed. The chair is like a continuation of the body. Everything is great! But the Mazda impatiently runs in behind, and for some reason the driver of the Porsche slowed down. He is trying to cope with the audio system. To find your favorite station, you have to do a dozen or so operations with a small “twist-and-click”. Well, this zaum does not fit with the honest and uncompromising character of “Boxter”!

We share first impressions, looking at cars in the pit. Of course, these cars for good roads did not expect anything else. The extra 7 mm ground clearance of the Mazda does not fundamentally change anything: the lowest point is the neutralizer. Not good! “Porsche” bottom – smooth: the bottom is covered with light shields. Aerodynamics!

Stock, of course, no. But this “option” is also within the framework of the sports genre. But pleased trunk. Given the basic purpose of sports roadster and coupe, they are quite capacious and comfortable in shape.

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