Originally Posted by JoosyJoos
I'd go with the mini personally. The rotaries burn oil and are known to have problems. That and they have almost no torque whatsoever.
I see more Mini's in HPDE's and autocrosses than RX8s by a long shot.
Just to be clear, rotaries burn oil by design.
Also, people say the same stuff about bimmers and it doesn't make it true. Rotaries by design are actually simpler than piston engines, and the vacuum hose/general turbo issues with the RX-7 don't make the RX-8 an unreliable car.
I've never driven either car. The Mini's short wheelbase helps a lot if you're into autocross. However, the RX-8's RWD and more even weight distribution is a better dynamic setup in general. Most people I've talked to really enjoyed the RX-8 and praised it's handling feel in particular. Torque alone doesn't mean shit (you have to take into consideration gearing). Horsepower is what matters when it comes to acceleration, and the RX-8 has a respectable amount of that (this is not the time or the place to get into horsepower vs. torque discussion, so let's not start it).
Ultimately, it comes down to your driving style and what you want: a go-kart like FWD car that will be great in very tight autocross-like situations, or a more neutral handling RX-8 that's more suited for road courses and the like.