Reports suggest that Mazda is working on bringing back the RX-8 model – completely redeveloped with a new rotary engine.
The Mazda RX-8 first appeared at the North American International Auto Show in 2001 powered by the company’s Wankel engine, and began sales in the 2004 model year.
It was on August 23, 2011, that Mazda announced the RX-8 will be discontinued from production, citing the 2011 model as the last line of production. Later in 2010, the model was removed from the European market, apparently due to failure to meet emissions standards. It was sold in South Africa and had some successes, thanks to its funky design and rev-happy motor.
Now it seems Mazda is ready to launch a successor to the model, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Cosmo Sport which was Mazda's first model powered by a rotary engine. The Mazda Cosmo is the world's first mass produced rotary powered sportscar with about 1500 units made between 1967 and 1972.
It’s rumoured that Mazda Engineers are working to fix the Wankel engine’s problems relating to high fuel and oil consumption. Rumours also suggest that the new engine will have increased stroke and reduced rotor width for improved thermal efficiency and more torque – without resorting to turbocharging. Mazda will also use its SkyActiv engine technology on the Wankel to give it higher compression ratios.
The Mazda RX-8 is expected to ride on an extended platform of the new MX-5 and will be offered with a six-speed manual gearbox and an optional five-speed automatic.