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Hemmings Motor News Blog

Hemmings Motor News has been around since 1954. We're proud of our heritage, but we're also more than the Hemmings full of classifieds that your father subscribed to. Aside from new editorial content every month in Hemmings, we have three monthly magazines: Hemmings Muscle Machines, Hemmings Classic Car and Hemmings Sports and Exotic Car.

While our editors traverse the country to find the best content for those magazines, we find other oddities related to the old-car hobby that we really had no place for - until now. With this blog, we're giving you a behind-the-scenes look at what we see and what we do during the course of putting out some of the finest automotive magazines you'll ever read.

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Mazda Ends Over 40 Years of Rotary Engine Production

Posted July 04, 2012 9:00 AM by dstrohl

More than 40 years of offbeat automotive history has come to an end, not totally unexpectedly. Mazda's long production of its Wankel-cycle engine concluded last Friday when the company's final RX-8 sport coupe, its last vehicle using the rotary engine, rolled off the assembly line in Hiroshima last Friday, Automotive News reported.

The rotary's feathery internal spinning weight and insane RPM put Mazda solidly on the radar when the engine debuted in the 1967 Cosmo Sport. Since then, it had become increasingly less relevant, mainly due to its thirstiness. Mazda remains alone among Japanese automakers for its lack of profitability. The rotary's brightest moment came in 1991, when Mazdaspeed, the company's racing arm, took on the 24 Hours of Le Mans with a four-rotor Wankel in a Group C coupe. With 700 shrieking horsepower, it became the first, and still the only, Japanese car to win at the Sarthe. Just that quickly, the FIA banned rotary engines from global sports car competition.

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#1

Re: Mazda Ends Over 40 Years of Rotary Engine Production

07/05/2012 1:54 AM

That Mazda racing story story kinda sounds like Andy Granatelli's (sp) turbine entry at the Indy 500 some years ago. It too was banned.

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#2

Re: Mazda Ends Over 40 Years of Rotary Engine Production

07/05/2012 4:54 AM

Great engines in great cars, sad that the consumption was almost never on a par with "normal" engines, but neither was the great fun and performance either.....

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Re: Mazda Ends Over 40 Years of Rotary Engine Production

07/06/2012 3:28 PM

This tells the story...

Base engine size: 1.3 L

Torque: 159 ft-lbs. @ 5500 rpm

Horsepower: 212 hp @ 7500 rpm

Fuel type: premium unleaded (required)

Fuel tank capacity: 16.9 gal.

Range in miles (cty/hwy): 270.4/388.7 mi.

EPA mileage est. (cty/hwy): 16/23 mpg

MSRP $27590.

http://www.edmunds.com/mazda/rx-8/2011/

http://www.truecar.com/prices-new/mazda/rx-8-pricing/

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