Mazda RX8 (Photo: Mazda)
On June 22nd, Mazda built its very last rotary engine as the Renesis engine assembly line is now idled without a successor in store. A long advocate of the big power-small displacement engine, Mazda has been building production Wankel engine vehicles ever since the 1967 Mazda Cosmo.
At its prime, the wankel engine powered the Mazda 787B Group C prototype to Mazda's first and only 24 Hours of Le Mans overall win. To date, it is the only Japanese marque and the only rotary engine design to ever win.
Unfortunately, in an era of efficiency and emissions consciousness, the rotary is looking to look like a woolly mammoth in a modern world.
However, via Autocar, Mazda confirmed its commitment to the technology, insisting that a rotary engine still has merits that can deliver automobiles into the future.
Mazda said, "While the majority of the company's engineering resources are focused on the development of our revolutionary Sky Activ technology, work does continue on the next-generation rotary.
"Additionally, work continues on the use of fuels other than gasoline, taking advantage of the rotary's unique ability to operate on multiple fuels without extensive re-engineering."
Kudos to Mazda for sticking to their guns rotary engine.