Mazda stops production of the Rotary engine

The Japanese company may have stuck with the unique Wankel engine this far, but time has finally been called on the rotary.

On Friday 22 June, the last ever Renesis rotary engined car – the RX-8 – rolled off the production line at Mazda’s Hiroshima factory, signalling the end of an era for the company, as it currently has no current plans to re-introduce the engine in a mainstream model.

With the engine’s roots buried deep in Germany, Mazda had an interest in this unconventional engine design from the beginning, partnering with NSU which in turn made Felix Wankel’s dream of a rotary engine a reality.

Subscribe to evo magazine

Subscribe today to our exclusive new offer and SAVE 39% on the shop price, get evo for its original cover price of £3.00 an issue, plus get a FREE gift worth £20!

When NSU, which was owned by Audi, abandoned the roatary engine due to concerns over fuel efficiency and reliability – and huge warranty claims on the Ro80 saloon – Mazda continued to develop and use the high-revving design in its sports cars, after solving many of the reliability issues.

One thing Mazda never managed to solve however, was the problem with fuel consumption, and although the latest generation of Renesis rotary engines were far more efficient than its predecessors, it just couldn’t deliver the same power, torque and high-mpg ratings as modern conventional turbocharged engines.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

The official line from Mazda is that the development of a hydrogen-powered rotary engine is ‘ongoing’ and in future, we could see a much more efficient alternative-fuel rotary engine.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/mercedes-cla45-amg-hatchback/22953/mercedes-amg-cla-45-s-coupe-uk-review
Mercedes CLA45 AMG hatchback

Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 S coupe UK review

The more stylish version of eCoty 2019’s bronze medallist is as impressive on UK roads as it was overseas
28 Mar 2020
Visit/nissan/202389/this-nissan-juke-r-can-be-yours-for-719579
Nissan Juke R

This Nissan Juke-R can be yours for $719,579

Near-700bhp Nissan special project Juke-R goes up for sale in Germany 
30 Mar 2020
Visit/ferrari/f40/6214/ferrari-f40-review-history-prices-and-specs
Ferrari F40

Ferrari F40 – review, history, prices and specs

Despite having a turbocharged V8 instead of a normally aspirated V12, the F40 is often regarded as the greatest-ever Ferrari road car
21 Mar 2020
Visit/hyundai/201819/hyundai-i30-fastback-n-versus-the-nurburgring
Hyundai i30 N

Hyundai i30 Fastback N versus the Nurburgring

We brought the Hyundai i30 Fastback back to its spiritual home in Germany's Eifel mountains, where there is a racing track you might well have heard o…
7 Oct 2019