Farewell: Mazda RX-8 Ends Production

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Mazda ends production of the RX-8 due to low sales and failure to meet emissions standards.

It's the end of the road for Mazda's rotary-powered RX-8 sports car. The RX-8 has suffered lately from low sales and stricter emissions standards. Production officially ended last month. It was only a matter of time before the Japanese automaker ended the rotary-powered sports car. The RX-8 had more than enough power and low weight, but had relatively low torque figures and a gained reputation for very high fuel consumption and burning oil. Despite the negatives, Mazda sold 23,690 units in 2004, just one year after its launch.

The RX-8 was powered by a 1.3-liter, twin-rotor Renesis engine that delivered an output of 232 hp and featured rear-wheel drive as well. Sadly, it continued to suffer from declining sales with only 1,134 units sold last year. Kiyoshi Fujiwara, Mazda's executive officer for product planning and powertrain development, stated that the company was debating the cancelation of some projects due to economic reasons, and the RX-8 was one of them. Mazda's new focus is on the SKYACTIV fuel-efficient engine. However, there has been talk within Mazda about producing another rotary-powered sports car that could possibly be dubbed as the RX-9.

So there's some hope yet. For now, we'll have to make due with the MX-5 as Mazda's sole sports car. It's also scheduled to be redesigned in the next year or so, but Mazda has not yet officially committed to a new rotary-powered car. All we can do now is hope for the best.


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