There’s no word on whether Mazda will bring an RX successor; the RX-8 replaced the RX-7 here in 2002. Along with the Miata, the RX played a key role in forming Mazda’s “Zoom-Zoom” identity. The RX-8 featured a standard high-revving rotary engine — the only car in the U.S. that had such a configuration. If the RX-8 is not replaced, that could very well mean the end of Wankel rotary engines in this country. The automaker has been building rotary-powered cars since the 1960s.
The RX-8 was certainly a rare breed here. The car had a low-slung appearance, but it was rather accommodating with its hidden rear-hinged doors. Unfortunately, the rotary engine had pretty odd characteristics that might put off some car buyers. And its fuel economy was lousy.
Mazda has only sold 544 RX-8s so far in 2011, down 20.8% from 2010.
2011 Mazda RX-8 Video