Rotary fans worldwide took the news hard that Mazda was killing off its RX-8 without word of a successor – but now there is a small silver lining.
Mazda has just announced that it is releasing a final special edition of its RX-8 which could be the final rotary production cars ever built. Named the RX-8 Spirit R, this very collectable special edition will be limited to just 1,000 units, with sales in the Japanese domestic market only.
The Spirit R nameplate is familiar being also used for the final edition of the RX-7 and the RX-8 version will be sold in two variants – a six-speed manual version based on the RS model and the other with a six-speed auto based on the Type E model.
After it launches the Spirit R and the auto-only Type G will be the only RX-8 models on sale in Japan with production ending fully on June 12th, 2012.
Naturally, the Spirit R receives some special touches like an exclusive Recaro bucket seats and bronze 19-inch alloy wheels. Special equipment includes a sport suspension set-up, larger brakes with red calipers, new front headlights and Spirit R badges.
The RX-8 Spirit R will be offered in three colours: Aluminium Metallic, Sparkling Black Mica and Crystal White Pearl Mica.
Mazda’s President and CEO, Takashi Tamanouchi is still very positive about the rotary engine and said: “Although RX-8 production is ending, the rotary engine will always represent the spirit of Mazda. And Mazda remains committed to its ongoing development,” Tamanouchi added.
So for Wankel fans there is some hope yet, but with no rotary-powered vehicles in development it will be many years before we see a new rotary-powered machine cruising NZ streets.