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Mazda RX-8 production to end summer 2012; company says rotary engine development will continue

Mazda Motor Corporation has announced the Mazda RX-8 SPIRIT R, a special edition version of its four-door, four-seat rotary-engined sports car. Mazda will cease RX-8 production will end in June 2012 and SPIRIT R will be the final special edition model.

The RX-8 SPIRIT R will go on sale from 24 November 2011 at all Mazda and Mazda Anfini dealerships throughout Japan. Mazda expects to sell 1,000 units.

The RX-8 SPIRIT R is based on the RX-8 Type RS (with six-speed manual transmission) and Type E (with six-speed electronically-controlled automatic transmission). It is named after the final limited edition Mazda RX-7. Following the launch, the Mazda RX-8 lineup will consist of the SPIRIT R and the Type G (with six-speed electronically-controlled automatic transmission) model grades only.

Mazda’s iconic rotary engine recorded its famous victory in the Le Mans 24-Hour endurance race 20 years ago. Throughout 2011, we have been celebrating the 20th anniversary of that victory by demonstrating the winning 787B racecar at Le Mans’ Circuit de La Sarthe and various other events around the world. At each one, the screaming rotary engine and the sight of the 787B have enthralled everyone from young children to race fans who witnessed its victory in 1991. These events have been a powerful reminder of the widespread passion for the rotary engine. Although RX-8 production is ending, the rotary engine will always represent the spirit of Mazda and Mazda remains committed to its ongoing development.

—Takashi Yamanouchi, Mazda’s Representative Director, Chairman of the Board, President and CEO



It's too bad they were never able to build an engine that competed favorably with the traditional ICE engines. Kodos to them for the years of trying.


It was a nice car, the shame being that the Wankel engine used was very inefficient compared to its traditional 4-cylinder counterparts, which could have meant a 30-35 USmpg roadster instead of the 20 USmpg mileage it produced, and that's assuming the 4 cylinder comes without any efficiency gizmos.

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