Mazda builds final rotary engine

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Mark it down, auto enthusiasts. Mazda built its last rotary engine on Friday, June 22.

By final, we mean the line that assembled Renesis engines for Mazda's RX-8 sports car was idled, and there are currently no plans to restart its production. Mazda has a long-running history of building Wankel powerplants, and its production of the high-revving engine has seen a few stutters since Mazda put the first dual-rotor Wankel in a production car in 1967.

Of course, it's always possible that Mazda finds a way to solve – or at least drastically improve – the failings of the Renesis: high fuel consumption and poor emissions. We've been hearing about the so-called 16X rotary for years, and we'd love to see it enter production at some point in the not-terribly-distant future.

For now, though, join us in remembering some of Mazda's past rotary-powered machinery in the image galleries above and below. Even if the world never sees another production rotary, at least it's been a good ride.

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