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Mazda Spied Testing RX-8 At the Nurburgring, Could Feature New Rotary Engine

Automotive Mike is back with a peculiar video of the RX-8, the final Mazda with a rotary engine and an old Mazda given that it’s been discontinued in 2012 after a production run of approximately 192,000 units. Continental Europe and the United Kingdom said farewell to the quad coupé in 2010 over failing to meet the Euro 5a emissions standards.
Mazda Spied Testing RX-8 At the Nurburgring, Could Feature New Rotary Engine 21 photos
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Back in 2010, Mazda also confirmed it would re-engineer the Wankel to be more efficient than ever. Five years later, the RX-Vision Concept debuted the SkyActiv-R with rear-wheel drive and bite-the-back-of-your-hand beautiful looks. Nobody knows if the RX-9 will happen, but the rotary engine will return in 2021 in the form of a range extender.

Before the inevitable happens, Mazda’s first-ever EV is scheduled to enter production in 2020 in a compact vehicle. The e-TPV prototype is based on the CX-30 crossover, which means that the platform was developed from the get-go for hybrids and EVs.

But then again, what’s Mazda doing at the Nurburgring with light camouflage on the front of the RX-8? The car doesn’t appear to be all that different from the production model, but something is definitely going on in the engine bay. The “L” on the rear window signals that Mazda is training a development driver, but then again, this might be a part of the camouflage as well.

It’s also worth highlighting the driver’s right hand comes off the wheel to change into a different gear, and you can also hear the distinct sound of a manual transmission’s shift on multiple occasions. Mazda is also working on inline-six engines for the Large Architecture, but this RX-8 exhibits the unmistakable sound of a rotary engine. What comes as a disappointment is that the driver doesn’t rev the hell out of it on the Nurburgring Nordschleife.

Whatever the future holds for the RX-9 and SkyActiv-R, even the worst-case scenario isn’t that bad for Mazda. The MX-5 continues to lead open-top sports car sales, and if you’ve driven one, you also know the more reliable MX-5 handles a lot better than the RX-8.

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