The RX-8 Spirit will be sold in two versions, one with a six speed manual transmission based on the Type RS and the other with a six speed automatic based on the Type E model. Mazda’s President and CEO, Takashi Tamanouchi, said: “Mazda’s iconic rotary engine recorded its famous victory in the Le Mans 24-Hour endurance rave 20 years ago. Throughout 2011, we have been celebrating the 20th anniversary of that victory by demonstrating the winning 787B racecar at Le Mans’ Circuit de La Sarthe and various other events, which have been a powerful reminder of the widespread passion for the rotary engine". “Although RX-8 production is ending, the rotary engine will always represent the spirit of Mazda. And Mazda remains committed to its ongoing development,” Tamanouchi added.
For Wankel fans out there, you might mourn for the demise of the thrilling RX-8, but you can also smile because there you have it from the horse’s mouth, Mazda’s CEO himself, that the company is not about to give up the development of the rotary engine.