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Mazda To Cease RX-series Production Next Year
In brief: Mazda is discontinuing the RX series of sports cars with this year's models, commemorating the popular line with the new RX-8 SPIRIT R edition.
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Mazda Motor Corp has announced the RX-8 SPIRIT R special edition of the popular RX sports car as the last rendition of the line. The RX is known not only for its popular styling and fun family-allowed drive, but also as the only vehicle in production which uses the Wankel Rotary Engine.
Mazda says that the final knell of the RX bell will ring in June of 2012, but that the rotary engine will live on in development and use in other projects.
The SPIRIT R moniker brings back the nostalgic end of the RX-7 sports coupe. The RX line has seen renditions on the race track, in the showroom, and in concept tests like the one currently on the road in Europe as a Hydrogen vehicle.
As for the rotary engine:
Mazda’s iconic rotary engine recorded its famous victory in the Le Mans 24-Hour endurance race 20 years ago. Throughout 2011, we have been celebrating the 20th anniversary of that victory by demonstrating the winning 787B racecar at Le Mans’ Circuit de La Sarthe and various other events around the world. At each one, the screaming rotary engine and the sight of the 787B have enthralled everyone from young children to race fans who witnessed its victory in 1991. These events have been a powerful reminder of the widespread passion for the rotary engine. Although RX-8 production is ending, the rotary engine will always represent the spirit of Mazda and Mazda remains committed to its ongoing development. --Takashi Yamanouchi, Mazda’s Representative Director, Chairman of the Board, President and CEO
And so ...
While it has some drawbacks for some uses, the rotary engine has major advantages as well, so its development should continue.
Photo credits: Mazda
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