Mazda has stopped offering the car in Europe last year, after failing to meet the more strict EU emission standards. Last year, the Hiroshima-based company managed to deliver just 1,134 units, a 49% decrease compared to 2009, while sales in the first half of 2011 decreased by a further 21%. The front-mid-engined rotary sports car was launched by Mazda in 2003, with its best sales year in 2004, moving 23,690 units. It is the last in the line of rotary-powered sports cars that started in 1971 with the RX-2. This could very well be the last mass-produced rotary-powered sports car.
Kiyoshi Fujiwara, the brand’s executive officer for product planning and powertrain development, revealed that the company was indeed considering the cancellation of some projects due to economic reasons, and the successor to the RX-8 was one of them. However, Fujiwara claims no final decision has been taken yet. He indicated that if the newly introduced SKYACTIC engines sell well, then Mazda would have the funds to pump into the development of the next RX-8.