Could the Mazda RX-8 Return as a Rotary Hybrid?

Rumor

The return of the famed Mazda rotary is possible, but it won't be happening right away.

The last of Mazda’s great rotary-engined models went out of production last year, and now we’re only hearing about its new SkyActiv engine lineup. While those gasoline and diesels are truly fantastic engines, many brand enthusiasts would still very much love to see a rotary return in some form or another. As it turns out, that may just happen. A new report is suggesting the RX-8 (or maybe an RX-9) could return as a rotary hybrid. Mazda’s UK sales director recently stated that the brand’s Wankel engine hasn’t been forgotten.

It’s possible some of that SkyActiv technology could be applied to it in order to dramatically improve fuel efficiency. However, if an RX-8 hybrid were to be given the green light, it won’t be happening in the immediate future. The source stated that he thinks "the RX-8 will play a part in the future, but now isn’t the time." Why exactly? Mazda is too busy fine tuning its core lineup and is now turning its focus to the next-gen MX-5 and Mazda5. No word on whether a new Mazda2 will go on sale in the US, but the automaker is also keen to further develop city cars for other global markets. Once those plans are finalized, then a new RX-8 could happen.

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