Amidst all the underlying hype of Mazda’s recent plans with rotaries, it’s safe to assume that it probably isn’t going to be a new wankel-engined sports car. Unless the Japanese figure out a way to pass emissions testing, hope for a new RX series should be kept down. If anything, those who had its last successor shows that it wasn’t for everyone.
The RX-8 was Mazda and the world’s final venture in the rotary engine for a reason. First available to the public in 2002 (given its looks, you might not expect it), it had a 10-year production run before it finally bit the dust. It was powered by the 1.3-liter Renesis, a new version of the 13B that was in a majority of Mazda’s wankel-powered models of the past. With great revisions that allowed it to perform much better, it made its debut. The RX-8 left a mark. Both on the reviewers and those who owned it. For the former, it was mostly positive, and for the latter, a split of joy and dread, the latter of which usually follows for those who weren’t aware that it wasn’t a regular car.
Having a rotary engine essentially makes it reliant on oil, and the fact that it needs to be on higher RPMs in every use. But this was only known to those with experience in the rotary engine, something which wasn’t known by a great number of its owners. Although its sports car nature should grant it the treatment it needs, car owners don’t tend to do services often, owing to the distance they can run without regular maintenance. This, combined with how the engines are prone to become unreliable past 60000 KMs, has led to extensive repair bills that inflicts regret on those expecting a regular sports car capable of tanking the treatment of a regular car and last long, engine-wise.
p class=”MsoNormal”>Given the challenging nature of keeping it alive, these machines have either met their fate being sold as-is, or repaired at one point and sold soon after at an affordable price, leading to the same cycle of break, fix, sell. An innovative brainchild of Mazda, it was valued by enthusiasts for being the last production wankel car, which unfortunately wasn’t meant for the world. A revolution that is bound to issues down the line, it’s understandable why Mazda axed it a decade into its life, as it was a rarity that necessitated care of those in the know.