Mazda RX-8 engine bay

Fear not, rotaryphiles. According to a report from The Detroit News, Mazda isn't giving up on the rotary engine anytime soon. Though the RX-8 is headed for the production guillotine, Mazda execs have apparently confirmed that engineers are working on a more efficient and more powerful version of the Wankel. While the project was technically back-burnered during the economic downturn, the research wasn't canned outright. That means that there's a chance that the rotary could make a comeback. What would it go into? That's a little less certain.

We know that the MX-5 Miata isn't a likely candidate, as Mazda has sworn to keep that vehicle true to its inline roots. A rotary does pair well with an extended-range electric vehicle platform, however, as the high-revving nature is perfect for turning a generator. While that may be a far cry from the low-slung RX-8, it's at least reassuring to know that the engine design could have a future.