Mazda has announced the cancellation of production to its RX-8 rotary engine sports car, because of falling sales and stringent global emissions standards. Production in Hiroshima, Japan, ended in early July and global sales of the car will conclude later this year.
The RX-8 and the three generations of the RX-7 that preceded it, have long been Mazda’s fun-to-drive sports cars. The RX-8 featured a high-revving 1.3-liter, twin-rotor rotary engine that produces 232-hp. The Mazda had a base price of $27,590, including shipping, but the company only sold 1,134 RX-8’s last year.
The automaker peaked with 23,690 RX-8’s sold in 2004. Sales in July 2011 were down 21 percent year over year. U.S Mazda dealers had 300 units in stock on August 1 for a 118-day supply, according to the Automotive News Data Center. In a big let down, Mazda had to pull the RX-8 from the European market last year after the car failed to meet local emissions standards. Mazda couldn’t justify selling the sports car without volume from Europe.