Currently reading: Mazda kills off RX-8 sports coupe
The rotary engine in the RX-8 no longer meets emissions regulations so Mazda pulls the car from sale

Mazda has killed off its RX-8 sports coupé after its innovative rotary engine fell foul of European emissions regulations.

Mazda has persisted with rotary technology to power its sports cars, but the twin-rotor engine used in the RX-8 has not been improved to meet Euro V emissions regulations that came into force last September. All new cars’ emissions must meet these regulations to be sold in Europe.

Instead of developing the current engine in the RX-8 at substantial cost, the firm has decided to axe the current generation of the car altogether.

Mazda still has some RX-8s in stock, but production has now ended and there will be no more available once the stock has been sold.

The next RX-8 is tentatively due to go on sale next year, although the Japanese manufacturer would need to be sure the new rotary engine powering it met the stricter Euro VI emission regulations, which come into force in 2014.

Development of this new rotary engine is underway at Mazda and it was due to be launched at last year’s Tokyo motor show. However, engineers are struggling to reduce the weight of the unit in addition to improving fuel consumption, emissions and boosting mid-range torque.

Mazda wants to reduce the weight of all its cars by 100kg within five years – as it stands, the next RX-8 wouldn’t meet this target.

The current RX-8’s engine consists of two triangular rotors working within a combustion chamber, each displacing 654cc. Total power output is 228bhp, while torque stands at 156lb ft. It produces 299g/km of CO2.

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Eric20 22 May 2010

Re: Mazda kills off RX-8 sports coupe

If you enjoy a car which needs to be mastered over time, which can improve as you improve driving it then the RX-8 could be for you. If you prefer to look at a car as simply a tool to get you from A to B, forget it. Sadly, the fuel consumption (and now £400+ road tax) will always remain a sticking point, but look at the bigger picture - you can pick these cars up *very* cheaply. Even 2 years ago I bought mine, a pre-registered delivery mileage only example for £15K. The list price a the time (with every option ticked) was nearer £25K. Now £10K saved is a lot of extra fuel and extra road tax over, say, 3 years and 30K miles. A rough calculation against a more 'sensible' car which sells much nearer list price (I am thinking about similarly equipped VWs and BMWs) and can do 35MPG and cost only £200 to tax gives only about a £2.5K difference in costs over the 3 year term.

Rob 7 16 April 2010

Re: Mazda kills off RX-8 sports coupe

Sadly, Mazda are just the most recent to realise that there's never much profit in going out on a limb, mainstream will always be safer.

SimonRH 16 April 2010

Re: Mazda kills off RX-8 sports coupe

noluddite wrote:
Rotary Mazda's have been killed off more times than Dr Who. It seems that emissions and fuel economy are perennial problems, and the volumes never seem to justify the investment required to solve them. Whilst it would be sad to see the demise of the rotary, there are many like me who appreciate it's technical simplicity but would never buy a car with one bolted into it. I may be missing something, but I like my diesel fours, and petrol straight sixes and V8's. I just don't lust after a rotary. In fact , if I could buy an RX8 as a rotary or a straight six, I'd have the latter every time, however much it's extra height affected the roll centre. There was talk of putting the rotary in the MX5, but that never happened, presumably due to lack of demand. Would it be unfair to conclude that Mazda are flogging a dead horse?

I am another in agreement with this, I think Mazda missed a trick somewhere. The furious spinning rotary engine was just one piece of this car that flawed what would have still been a refershingly different vehicle. RWD, suicide doors, 4 decent seats and good interior and exterior. It just got saddled with an absolute screamer of an engine with some major thirst issues for all of its fluids. If they could persuade subaru to lend them a couple of boxer diesels or something and re-engineer the car to fit around something a bit more leggy and suitable for day-to-day use?

Having said that, used ones seem really cheap which means you hae a lot more leftover to spend on fuel and oil.