I've had my fair share of disappointing cars.
From a Mitsubishi GTO with a four speed automatic that was about as keen to go forwards as a French army battalion, to an MX5 with an under-body structure with more holes than the plot of any Nicolas Cage film, I now mentally prepare myself when buying somewhat classic cars for a raft of possible horrors.
But sometimes, disappointment doesn't come in the form of mechanical issues or hidden pasts. Sometimes, disappointment comes purely in the form of a massive amount of expectation being met with, sadly, a less massive amount of ability.
Here, amid gasps from many, comes in the RX7. To many Japanese car enthusiasts the RX7 is up there with the best of the 90s JDM icon brigade. A generation much like myself, brought up on Gran Turismo and Fast and Furious, see the RX7 as a form of automotive holy grail. Automotive magazines who revisit this nearly 30 year old car are fast to compliment it in every way, and quite rightly so, as in many ways it really is a fantastic cars.
But there's a difference between reviewing one and living with one. Living with one means, eventually, you'll lose the rose-tinted spectacles and begin to see the RX7 for what it is.
Now, don't throw your phones in disgust and immediately retrieve it from the other side of the room to inform me that I'm a complete madman, and I've lost my marbles and should never write an automotive piece again. The RX7 is a very good car. In fact, it's a great car. But it doesn't deserve the hype.
It handles well, and that's good - it handles very very well when you consider the age and the component wear. But, to pick a car I'll refer to a lot here, the RX8 handles better. It's reasonably pleasant inside but, you guessed it, the RX8 is nicer. It makes a fantastic rotary noise, but, believe it or not, there's another car that does that, and it's on the tip of my tongue...
Now, you're probably wondering where my point is here, as if you've read anything on here before, you'll know that I love taking a long and winding road towards the actual point of the piece.
I find it amazing just how much some cars are hyped up to the point at which they become worth, objectively, far more than they should be. I find it similarly amazing just how little some cars are worth because people don't consider them worthy when directly compared to the alternative car that everyone lusts after.
So, what car comes in here? Of course it's the RX8. Recently I saw something on one of the RX8 forums that made me chuckle. People everywhere on that forum see the RX8s they've bought as a compromise - the cheaper alternative to the far better car. But it's untrue. The RX7 is not the better car. In so very many ways it was improved upon in the newer car that so many people immediately discount as a poor follow up to the RX7.
So many cars like this find themselves discounted as a poor car because the predecessor was such an icon.
Just look at how many feathers you ruffle when you tell someone the Mk5 Supra is better than the Mk4...