Last Mazda RX-8 marks the end of the iconic rotary engine

Article by Anita Panait, on June 26, 2012

Mazda has halted production of its Mazda RX-8 sports coupe, the last of its models that uses the legendary rotary engine. The last Mazda RX-8 rolled off the assembly line last Friday at its plant in Hiroshima, where the company also holds its headquarters. The rotary engine was immensely popular due to its ability to provide more power than traditional engines of the same size.

Originally developed by German engineer Felix Wankel in 1957, the rotary engine, once known as the Wankel engine, was licensed by Mazda in 1961 from Audi NSU Auto Union AG. The rotary engine consists of a three-cornered rotor in an oval chamber and has fewer moving parts.

The rotary engine provides additional power and acceleration compared to heavier same sized piston counterparts. The rotary engine that sits in the Mazda RX-8 sports coupe could reach 8,200 revolutions per minute before hitting the maximum level. The figure is much higher than the engine that powers the Toyota 86 sports car, which only allows up to 7,000 revolutions per minute.

The only downside for the rotary engine is that it uses more fuel, making vehicles running with the powerhouse not so attractive to those who prefer fuel-efficient cars.

That could be the main reason why Mazda has halted its production, as the consumer demand has shifted towards environmentally friendly vehicles.

Struggling Mazda is now focusing on environment-friendly cars, which the carmaker hopes could help it log its first profit in five years. Mazda president Takashi Yamanouchi remarked that although production of the RX-8 has ended, the rotary engine “will live on as an important part of Mazda's spirit."

If you liked the article, share on:

Pin It

Comments

Recommended

Has Toyota started the production of a new electric supercharger? Well, a patent that was recently published indicated that they might have. And this electric supercharger looks more durable and...
by - March 27, 2017
The Tesla Model S has finally arrived in South Korean soil and is now available for test drive. But, there’s a catch. You’ll have to wait several months if you...
by - March 27, 2017
Sorry to say this to the Sport Quattro Concept fanatics. If you guys have been hoping for the production of this iconic concept to begin, prepare for your dreams to...
by - March 27, 2017
South Korean car company SsangYong recently revealed sketches of their upcoming SUV. We’re not always impressed by Korean car designs, but this one looks quite promising. Yup, it is the...
by - March 26, 2017
Twenty-eight years after the company was first launched by Toyota, which was initially targeted to the United States market only, Lexus has already made its way to over 70 countries....
by - March 26, 2017
Facebook

Youtube Channel

Tip Us
Do you have a tip for us?
Did you film an important event?
Contact us
Newsletter
Subscribe to our newsletter!
Subscribe
Galleries