The rotary engine in the RX-8 no longer meets emissions regulations so Mazda pulls the car from sale
15 April 2010

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.

Join the debate

Comments
30

15 April 2010

Right car, wrong time.

15 April 2010

I remember reading about the Hydrogen RX-8. It's a shame there is no infrastructure for that

15 April 2010

Agreed fuzzybear, this car needs something like Hydrogen or ethanol
Could this spell the end of such universal engine?

15 April 2010

I think that unfortunately is coming the end of rotatory engine. This solution is already outdated!!! Look only at figures. This engine produce 230 bhp end only 217 NM of torque. It isn't enough . Of course I'm talking about torque. We've got today 1.75L turbo engine from Alfa Romeo with the same power but 340 NM of torque!!! The worst figure is about pollution ...

15 April 2010

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?

15 April 2010

[quote noluddite]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?[/quote]

I agree with you, with only one exception .... I don't like diesel engines!!!

15 April 2010

Sad news indeed, and it all seems a bit abrupt! This was a genuinely different, good-looking sports car which I think has aged remarkably well considering it's been around for 7 years or so. I think a lot of people will be sad to see it go.

"The creative adult is the child who survived."

15 April 2010

This engine was far more suited to Hydrogen than piston engines so it's unfortunate that it's been axed. It also uses very few moving parts which makes it light-weight.

15 April 2010

[quote noluddite]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?[/quote]

I totally agree, with the above too. I'd love one of these cars - no other car suits my need for a genuine 4 seater, with entertaining rear wheel drive, great looks, cool interior, great handling and no dodgy badge connotations. Truly I'd really love one except I never will due to the terrible fuel AND oil consumption, bad reliability - judging by a mates. No wonder they are so cheap secondhand.

Mazda should try a squeeze a range of boxers or shallow V6's and fours, both diesel and petrol into these, then they might actually sell a few.

Oh and it should've had a proper rear hatchback not a silly little boot.

15 April 2010

Great car, wrong engine, terrible CO2 figures. Presumably the 2 llitre four from the MX5 won't fit.

Pages

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Citroën C3 Aircross
    First Drive
    17 October 2017
    It's got funky looks and a charming interior, but it's another small SUV, and another dynamic miss. Numb steering is just one thing keeping it from class best
  • Skoda-Karoq 2.0 TDI 4x4
    First Drive
    16 October 2017
    Diesel version of Skoda’s junior SUV is unobtrusive and undemanding, but we’d still go for the silkier petrol version of the Karoq
  • Audi Q7 e-tron
    First Drive
    16 October 2017
    Expensive and flawed but this understated diesel-electric Audi Q7 has a lot to offer
  • Citroën C3
    First Drive
    16 October 2017
    Is the third gen Citroën C3 ‘fresh and different’ enough to take on its supermini rivals? We spend six months with one to find out
  • BMW X3
    First Drive
    15 October 2017
    A satisfying rework of the X3 that usefully improves its handling, cabin finish, space and connectivity to make this BMW a class front-runner again