Patrick Rall's picture

The Mazda RX-8 won't live past 2011

The Mazda RX-8 was introduced in the US as a 2004 model with big expectations but with the newest Mazda rotary sports car falling well short of the mark, Mazda has announced that production of the RX-8 ended in July with sales ending at the end of this year.

According to Automotive News, the decision to stop production and sales of the Mazda RX-8 come year end is due to poor sales, selling just 1,134 units through 2010 and seeing a decline of 21% over the first six months of 2011. Not only is the RX-8 selling poorly but it is struggling to compete with other vehicles in the segment as American rear wheel drive sports cars boom and the Nissan 370Z doesn’t “boom” – but it’s doing much better than the RX-8.

When the Mazda RX-8 hit US shores in 2004, it met a strong cult following from the high performance FD3S RX-7 that preceded it. The RX-8 draws its power from a similar Wankel rotary mill as the RX-7 but the 2004 model grossly lacked in power compared to the previous models and with that came a severe lack of performance. Hardcore Mazda enthusiasts still snapped up the RX-8 but with these models struggling to keep up with any of the other cars in the RWD performance car class, the RX-8 became an increasingly harder sell over the past 7 years.

It comes as no great surprise that the Mazda RX-8 will meet its demise at the end of 2011 but rotary fans – fear not – as rumors continue to soar about the Japanese automaker continuing to work on new rotary technology that would offer more power and better fuel economy than the RX-8. Unfortunately, with so many changes being made right now to the face of Mazda around the world (lineup changes, production moves, etc), it could be some time before we get a good look at the next generation of rotary powered Mazda sports cars.

Other Mazda News:
The Ford Mustang (Mazda 6) plant could be in trouble
Mazda to recall a half million Mazda3 for wiper risks
Mazda may cease production at Michigan assembly plant
Mazda will move Mazda6 production to Japan, but not soon and sales will continue

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