the car junkie daily magazine.


Well That’s Different: How About A Mazda RX8 Powered By A Ford Inline Six?

Well That’s Different: How About A Mazda RX8 Powered By A Ford Inline Six?

Now here’s an engine swap out of left field.

Remember the Mazda RX8? If you don’t, here’s a refresher: It was the last mass-produced car that Mazda built with their famed Rotary engine. They were manufactured from 2003 to 2012, and were an attempt at a more daily driver-friendly car than the previous and exotic twin turbo RX7. They had weird swing-out rear doors, much like an extended cab truck, and the Renesis twin rotor Wankel was a sweet little engine. But much like previous cars that employed the spinning magic Doritos under the hood, some owners did not understand the nuances in maintaining a car with this type of power plant. This lead to many broken RX8’s on the second hand market, and just like earlier cars, many found new life with piston-equipped engines swapped in under the hood. While most people hit the easy button and scream “LS SWAP!!!”, the seller of this vehicle went with the “Dare to be Different” crowd and things got weird. This one sports a Ford 300ci Inline Six. Yeah, you read that right. Sounds like someone got really bored last winter up in Minneapolis, where this lovely vehicle calls home!


In case you didn’t know, 300ci Ford Six is really, really tall. I don’t think that’s going to fit under the stock hood.


Also really, really tall: the Ford 300ci Six’s radiator. I’m not sure why this was used here, but there it is, sticking out of the engine bay like a sore thumb.


These were striking cars when they hit showroom floors, and they still remain one of the best handling RWD platforms one could build upon. This particular example, a 2004 model, was pretty beat by the time the seller got a hold of it. Some of the trim appears to be missing, and there’s a giant dent in the rear quarter panel. He was building it to be a drift car. As-delivered, they had a magical near-50/50 weight distribution, which must be all sorts of off balance thanks to that giant tower of power hanging out up front. That added weight up front must make for a tail-happy rear!


Since this thing was destined to go sideways on-track a lot, the interior was jettisoned in favor of adding lightness. Notice anything really long and weird in here? Yeah, that’s a manual transmission shifter poking through the floor. It’s a M5R2 5-speed, probably out of the same 1991 Ford F150 that donated it’s I6. Drift kids like their weird and long shifters, and this one is no exception.

The seller of this RX8 doesn’t go into a whole lot of detail as to what happened to the Renesis that formerly lived in the engine bay, but none of that matters now, because the honking 300ci six under the hood is ready to…. well… I’m not sure what it’s ready to do. These engines were built for pickup trucks with low, flat torque curves in mind. They came with somewhere between 145 and 175hp and around 260lb. ft. of torque, all down low in the powerband. The stock rev-happy Renesis would have had about 238hp and 159lb. ft. with a lot less weight up front, so obviously the I6 swap changes a lot of the dynamics of the car.

The seller claims that it’s a few parts away from getting on track, but I would reconsider what type of track this thing should compete on. With some custom aero work and a very large hair dryer hanging off to the side of the I6 (and some rear ballast to keep it planted), it could be an interesting entry into the world of land speed racing. The buy-in for this level of weirdness is $2500, which is not too bad all things considered, but it’s $2000 too much for 24 Hours of Lemons glory, unless your bribe game is really strong.

If you are up for the challenge of completing this project, hit up the ad on Craigslist! 

selling my 04 rx8 with a big block ford, nearly finished the project but life happened and now i need the cash.

unknown mileage on body
rebuilt title
stripped interior, rough exterior (drift car)
1991 ford 4.9 (300-6) 100k miles
m5r2 top loader transmission
hydraulic power steering
egr delete
air pump delete
freshly gone through engine and trans
ps pump
ps rack
ps lines
custom exhaust
brake lines
spark plugs
starter solenoid

car only needs coilovers and an alignment to be track ready which is what i was building it for.
runs and drives great as it is and is fully street legal with current plates and tabs.

looking to get 2500obo, like i said, life threw a curveball and i need to sell.

Of course, we want to hear your thoughts on this freak, so let ’em rip in the comments section!

  • Share This
  • Pinterest
  • 0

4 thoughts on “Well That’s Different: How About A Mazda RX8 Powered By A Ford Inline Six?

  1. Happy Motoring

    I don’t get this swap. When I first saw the title I thought it might have been one of those crazy Aussie six’s with a ton of boost. I know some short track guys have used these before but it seems like there would be lots of options that made better sense. Early or late model Ford, GM, or Mopar V8’s would seem to be a better fit here if you didn’t want to fool around with a rotary and wanted plenty of torque. A boosted US or Japanese 4 cyl would fit easily as well. As you can see in the pics, the 300 is a very tall engine and just doesn’t seem to fit well.

  2. Chevy Hatin' Mad Geordie

    Bugger me double with a spirit level bubble!

    There really IS someone out there with imagination when it comes to engine swaps – its a shame that its the fugliest I’ve ever seen but at least it ain’t no steenkin’ LS….

  3. Patrick

    Didn’t anyone at any time stop and think ” this isn’t coming out right?”. A lot of work for something so awful

Comments are closed.