If you’re a Wankel-lover based in Europe, now is the time to buy into a Mazda RX-8. Thanks to new emission standards enacted by the European Union, the automaker is forced to pull the car from the European market after the 2010 model year.
According to Mazda, the 1.3-liter, dual-rotor Renesis Wankel engine won’t meet the upcoming “Euro5” emission standards. Autocar says Mazda’s European dealers still have RX-8s in stock, but 2011 models — which should roll off the assembly lines later this year — won’t be destined for the continent.
Several sources have speculated on the RX-8’s future, but we’ve yet to hear anything finite from Mazda itself. We have been told that the rotary-powered sports car, which was just refreshed last year, is still confirmed for other markets, including North America. We haven’t heard much about what will come after 2012, as it seems Mazda is still ironing out the details of its future sports car portfolio.
One safe bet lies with the company’s smaller MX-5. We’ve heard a revised Miata will ultimately receive some form of Mazda’s new ultra-efficient “Sky-G” engines, which are but one step towards Mazda’s goal of reducing its average fuel consumption by 30 percent.
We expect the automaker to still offer some form of its trademark rotary in future RX models. Autocar says the company is still developing its next-generation Wankel, but engineers are finding it difficult to increase power while simultaneously reducing fuel consumption, emissions, and weight.