The Mazda RX-8, a sport coupe, comes in an available six-speed manual transmission. Driving with a manual transmission in the RX-8 is similar to other manually driven vehicles in that the driving requires more concentration and effort. After getting a feel for the clutch and practicing, you will be ready to drive this Mazda on any road.
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Sit inside the RX-8 and adjust the seat so that you can press the clutch, which is the pedal farthest to the left, all the way down. Get a feel for the gear shifter. The RX-8 has six gears and a reverse, which is on the upper left hand side of the gear shifter.
Place the gear shifter in neutral by pulling the shift knob out of the gear and toward the centre of the gear box. Press down the clutch with your left foot and start the vehicle. If the clutch is not pressed down all the way, the vehicle will not start.
Disengage the parking brake while applying the brakes with your right foot.
Press the clutch all the way down using your left foot and place the car in either first gear or reverse.
Apply the accelerator with your right foot. The RPM's should be around 2,000 at this point, which is enough to move the RX-8 from a standstill.
Lay off of the clutch slowly while applying the accelerator. The clutch plates will grip each other and cause the vehicle to move forward or backward depending on whether the car is in first gear or reverse.
Press the clutch down and place the gear back to neutral with the gear shifter. Release the clutch and apply the brakes to stop the vehicle.
Press down the clutch all the way with your left foot.
Switch gears by moving the gear shifter either up or down to the next gear while looking at the RPM's. For example, after first gear, switch into second gear when the RPM's are at about 4,000 for economical driving or just before the rev limiter is hit if racing. The rev limiter is the red marked area on the tachometer where the revs should not enter.
Release the clutch slowly once the car is back in gear.
Tips and warnings
- Practice driving in an empty car park away from obstacles until you get a feel for the way the car responds.
- The Mazda RX-8 has a rev limit of 9,000 RPM's. Do not shift past this point or engine damage may occur.
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