Mazda kills the RX-8

Goodbye Wankel engine?
Aug 24, 2011
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TopGear.com.ph Philippine Car News - Mazda kills the RX-8

Mazda has ceased to produce the rotary-engined RX-8 sports car, blaming the model's plummeting sales and the stringent global emissions standards for its demise.

According to AutoNews.com, Mazda stopped producing the RX-8 in July and the Japanese carmaker hopes to conclude the global sales of the car before the year ends.

In the United States market, Mazda only sold 1,134 RX-8s in 2010, marking a 49 percent decline from the previous year. This year is even worse as sales through July fell by 21 percent compared to the same period last year.

In Europe, Mazda pulled the model out of the market for failing to meet the region's emissions standards.

Though the end of the RX-8's run marks the demise of Mazda's rotary engine production, this isn't the first time the carmaker has done this. Mazda killed the production of its 13B rotary engine for the first time in 2002 after the carmaker discontinued the RX-7 before a newly-developed 13B Renesis rotary engine debuted with the introduction of the RX-8 a year later.

As it is, Mazda is already reportedly working on a production version of the next-generation 1.6-liter rotary engine that supposedly has lower emissions, better fuel economy and more power.

Codenamed 16X, the engine was unveiled at the 2007 Tokyo Motor Show and has an enlarged elliptical shape for the combustion chamber and an enlarged eccentric center stroke in the rotor. Mazda also plans to introduce direct-injection fuel delivery in a rotary engine for the first time in the 16X. 

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