2009 Mazda RX-8 – Click above for high-res image gallery
According to "a well placed source at Mazda's North American Operations," Motor Trend is reporting that the aging RX-8 is set to exit stage left here in the States after the 2011 model year. As it is, the rotary-powered sportscar is slated to see the European guillotine at the same time due to its inability to meet Euro V emissions standards.
There are a number of issues that all manufacturers that have chosen to borrow the rotary engine design from Felix Wankel have had to deal with, not the least of which have been poor fuel efficiency, comparatively high exhaust emissions and excessive oil consumption. It seems that these same long-running plagues may kill off yet another fun-to-drive rotary-powered model from Mazda.
Mazda has not made any formal announcements as to the death of the RX-8 or the rebirth of the perennially rumored RX-7 revival. That said, we'd be more than a little shocked if Mazda didn't renew its commitment to the high-revving, barrel-shaped rotary engine wrapped up in some sort of innovative package within the next few model years. In fact, we know Mazda has been toying with all sorts of next-gen technologies for its rotary engine design, including hydrogen and diesel. We'll see.
[Source: Motor Trend]