This is my third Mazda Rotary vehicle (following a 1988 RX-7 GXL, and a 1994 3rd Gen RX-7), and I have to say I am pretty happy with it. I hadn't planned on getting another car, but my 15 year old 3rd gen RX-7 was totaled almost a month ago :-(, And I KNEW the "8" couldn't match the 3rd gen's stellar performance since the "8" is 300-400 pounds heavier, about 110 less horsepower (I'd had some things done to my 3rd gen) and doesn't benefit from the 3rd gen's 50-some-odd better low end torque (compliments of that sequential twin turbo setup). But I knew these things off the bat. But the one thing that's still the same is the razor sharp cornering ability! And the smoothness of the rotary.
The "performance" pieces: 18" wheels, & the strut tower brace. The outer styling has kinda grown on me too. I was already used to the engine and all. And BTW, I'm getting better gas mileage (25-26mpg highway + city) than I got with my 300hp 3rd gen (abou 23-24mpg).
For some strange reason, the gas tank nozzle isn't as vertical as the one in the 3rd gen; so I'm constantly spilling gas when trying to fill it up to the max! It would also have been nice to retain the "always shows gas level in the tank even with the ignition OFF" gas gauge design from the 3rd gen.