Part One: The Realistic List
- Climate Control
I want to be able to set a temperature and forget it. I hate constanlty having to turn my A/C or Heater on and off. Most Climate Control systems have two buttons instead of a hot/cold knob, one for turning the temperature up, and one for turning it down. However, there have been many GM trucks that used knobs. It would be very easy to adapt the interface to the RX-8. Just replace the "off" setting on the fan knob with "auto" and replace the hot cold knob with a temperature knob. Put tempratures all the way around the loop, from say 60 to 90 or whatever. Or they could even get more fancy and put a small digital display in the center of the knob, and adjust the temperature that way.
- Longer Sunroof
Most sunroofs on cars open by moving down, then sliding back into the roof. The RX-8s sunroof is different, it moves up, and then slides back on top of the roof, above the car. This gives you much more headroom in the car than you would otherwise have. The downside is that the sunroof will only open to about 25% ~ 33% of the opening. But because it opens up, theres no reason why they couldn't make it much longer than a typical car's sunroof.
- Power Rear Windows
I'd like it if the rear windows were powered. The windows I'm talking about, the ones on the rear doors, are flip-open windows, they don't roll down. However I've seen many mini-vans with powered flip open windows, since they flip open in the way back where there are no seats. Well I'd guess that the back seats of most RX-8s are vacant most of the time, so it would be great of the driver has a second row of power window switches to flip the rear windows open and closed.
- More "Auto" Buttons
The Auto button to roll down the drivers side window is nice. As is the button to auto open the sunroof. But why stop there? Why not make all the buttons auto? I've seen button before where you push them a normal amount in any direction to move the glass "manually", and push them hard in any direction to make them lock into place and "auto" move the glass. That would be great for the 3 sunroof glass positions, the two front side windows, and even the flip-open windows from my wish list item above.
- Even Better iPod Integration
You can take the standard 6-Disc CD changer and shove it up your ass. When you're done, you can put an iPod dock connector in EVERY RX-8. Make the 6 disc an option, or just ditch it all together. How about going one step further and making some sort of iPod compartment where the space is on the radio. The space where the casette and/or minidisc drives would otherwise go. Do we really have to adapt so slowly?
- Blind Spot Detection
Volvo has a new feature on at least some of it's cars. Its built into your rear view mirrors, and it sees if there is a vehicle in your blind spot, and alerts you if there is. The volvo system uses a camera and some powerfull software to 'look' for cars, but it may be easier and cheaper to use some form of sonar or radar.
But more to the point. This item might be on the Dream List of some other car, but on an RX-8, this feature is on the real list. Anyone who drives one knows, the RX-8 blind spots are pretty bad. The front seat backs go practically to the roof. The windows on the third doors is set in pretty deep. And the side view mirrors are kind of on the small side. It can be very hard to see if someone is next to you. This great feature would solve that problem.
- Factory Remote Starter Option
Hows about a Remote Starter option that:
- Was installed at the factory by Mazda, and didn't require hiding a key in the dashboard.
- That used the facory remote to start, not a second aftermarket remote to stick on your keychain
- And most of all, was available on the standard!!! Your car won't drive away! The remote start unit can simply check the shifter position and see if you are is in gear, and if so, NOT start it.
Part Two: The Dream List
The RX-8 is a very fast car despite the fact that its numbers on paper might not look all that impressive. Nevertheless, a turbo option would really be bad ass. Something to push it up and over the 300 HP mark.
Part Three: The "Is He Joking?" List
- Auto Pilot Cruise Control
That's right. I'm not kidding. When my cruise control is engaged, I want to be able to take my hands off the wheel. I want my car to know that I did this, and use a series of cameras and really smart software to "see" the lanes in the road, and steer the car, keeping it right in it's lane. Also, the radar-cruise control that some cars currently have, to adjust the speed if I came up on another vehicle or even to slam on the breaks in an emergency situation. It sounds like science fiction, but systems like this have been in the works for over 10 years as consumer systems. I imagine its more a matter of liability than of technology. If your car crashes, can it be it's own fault? This system would work on manuals the same way cruise control currently works. No it won't hit the clutch and shift for you, but it will control the throttle and slam on the breaks if needed, and if you don't 'take over', probably stall the car. Not that the RX-8's current cruise control can slam on the breaks, but the throttle part works great on standards.