Europe Bans Mazda RX-8

Sad news for European fans of the Mazda brand, especially for those who were waiting to get behind the wheel of an RX-8 model: the Japanese manufacturer will be forced to withdraw the four-seat sports car from the European market, due to engine regulations.

The news was made public by Auto Motor & Sport Sweden via, whose German colleagues had a chat with the head of Mazda Germany, Joseph Alois Schmid (!).

According to Schmid, the reason behind Europe’s decision to ban the Mazda RX-8 model is that its Wankel engine was not capable of meeting Euro 5 emissions standard. According to the Swedish newspaper, Mazda is also considering a two-seater version of the RX-7, as a surrogate meant to feed Europeans until it finds a viable solution to the RX-8 Wankel power unit.

And since sources close to the matter say that a replacement for the rotary engine unit will not become available sooner than 2013, we might as well forget it. By that time, the new unit will have to meet the Euro 6 emission standard which takes effect in 2014 and is much stricter than Euro 5, which took effect in 2009.

There are, however, some prototypes of Wankel units running on E85 ethanol and being flex-fuel capable currently raced at Targa Tasmania, but they are less likely to hit Europe. Mazda, however, is expected to continue with the hydrogen version of the rotary engine, which gives much cleaner emissions than the gasoline-powered one.
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