Hello oppo. This is a long shot, because several things need to happen before I end up having to make this decision. However, there’s no harm in browsing the classifieds in advance, is there? So, Mazda RX-8: do, or don’t?

A few things of note.

- I have driven RX-8s before. It was a long time ago, when it was new, but I have, and I remember being overwhelmed by how cool these cars were, and how great the driving experience was

- Whatever I buy will see usage. Not necessarily daily, but i won’t put it away for the winter either. So it has to stand up to being driven hard on switchbacks, to snow-drift sessions, and the occasional track incursion too.

- Yes it will munch gas, i know, and I can get over that. Whatever I buy as a hobby vehicle, will munch gas, as I’m not the brown-diesel-wagon type.

- 4 seats is a big plus, as it enables me to ferry the kids to school in it. Whatever i buy will have four or five seats.

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- Most importantly: it has alternatives. I’m giving most thought to the notion of an E36 coupé (325i or 328i) but I’m not alien to the idea of a much older vehicle, say a Volvo 242. The crux is that I’m not going to spend much more than the equivalent of $3.500-4.000 so whatever I buy will not be from the top end of the respective types’ market.

OK, enough talk from me, now let’s hear from you, current or previous RX-8 owners. Which power level to go for? Is there LSD in the Challenge, or only in the Revolution? How many miles does an engine take before a rebuild / change, and what are the signs of that being imminent? Does it rust like the rest of the Mazda line-up of this vintage?