autoevolution
Car video reviews:
 

Mazda RX-8 With 4.5-Liter Infiniti V8 Costs $2,600

While the rumors about Mazda reviving the rotary engine continue, we have to make due. Just like the people in Cuba, fixing the same old Chevies for decades, putting up with the RX-8 is a Sisyphean task.
Mazda RX-8 With 4.5-Liter Infiniti V8 Costs $2,600 10 photos
Mazda RX-8 With 4.5-Liter Infiniti V8 Costs $2,600Mazda RX-8 With 4.5-Liter Infiniti V8 Costs $2,600Mazda RX-8 With 4.5-Liter Infiniti V8 Costs $2,600Mazda RX-8 With 4.5-Liter Infiniti V8 Costs $2,600Mazda RX-8 With 4.5-Liter Infiniti V8 Costs $2,600Mazda RX-8 With 4.5-Liter Infiniti V8 Costs $2,600Mazda RX-8 With 4.5-Liter Infiniti V8 Costs $2,600Mazda RX-8 With 4.5-Liter Infiniti V8 Costs $2,600Mazda RX-8 With 4.5-Liter Infiniti V8 Costs $2,600
Most folks these days just give up on the old Wankel engine, at least those who don't want to build a six-rotor turbo dragster. Lots have proven that even a Ford V8 will fit under the hood of the old Mazda sportscar. But at least this project has a Japanese heart, which is a nice bonus.

This guy is asking $2,600 on Craigslist for a 2005 RX-8 that's been fitted with a VH45DE engine, a 4.5-liter V8. That's a really small displacement for a V8, so it must come from an old Nissan, right? The donor is a 1994 Infiniti Q45.

That's such an old machine that even the hardcore Infiniti fans, all four of them, will have trouble remembering what it is. So just to refresh your memory, Infiniti came to the United States in 1989 with two cars, the Q45 performance luxury sedan, and the M30 performance luxury coupe. Early generations were based on the automaker's Japanese-market flagship sedan, the Nissan President, while models produced after 1996 were based on the smaller Cima.

In accordance with the power gentlemen's agreement of that era, the 4.5-liter V8 had the same output as most high-end Japanese cars: 280 horsepower.

By comparison, the RX-8 had a 1.3-liter engine, though that's like comparing apples and oranges. Most of the mechanical work was carried out at Swap Shop Garage in Paintsville, Kentucky. It includes using a Q45 subframe and custom mounts, which probably explains why it's an automatic.

Except for the gas, none of the gauges work, explaining why this potential drift car costs peanuts. There's also a bit of rust here and there. It's got S13 front coilovers and S14 suspension knuckles. She is risky, but nobody else has a VH45DE inside their RX-8. And what's a Q45?

 
 
 
 
 

Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories