The RX-7 is a name that has been associated with the sports car realm and Mazda for decades as the sports car stayed in production for more than 3 decades (1978 to 2002) featuring 1,146 cc rotary engine (twin-rotor) that was attached to a front mid-ship and a rear wheel drive construct. The RX-7 was in fact a replacement for the RX-3, (both were sold as the Mazda Savanna in Japan).
The car was indeed popular and made it into Car and Driver magazine’s Ten Best list numerous times without flinching. As the model ran out of steam the RX-8 was introduced by Mazda in 2003 and the automobile managed to hold its position in the market right up to 2012.
The RX-8 maintained the Wankel engine which became the reason for the RX 8 to be removed from the European market due to failure of meeting the strict emission standards set up by the EU. In other markets, the rising yen made the car simply too expensive causing sales volume to suffer which resulted in the car being discontinued in these markets all together.
Mazda was starting to crumble about this time, but however managed to revitalize itself financially and strategically with a little help from Ford that saw Mazda coming up with new product lines consisting of high performing, high quality cars in the form of Mazda-6 and subsequently the Mazda-3 which practically paved the way for Mazda’s subsequent generation of rotary engine sports cars.
The RX-8 has a strong history in Mazda’s development of engines going back as far as 1995 when the Mazda RX01 concept car was introduced with the 13BMSP engine that spitted out 210HPs without flinching, however due to the company’s financial state and changing market trends the development of the RX-01 did not see the light of day.
Repairs for the RX8 are fairly straight forward as they are a basic rotary engine with fairly simple electronics, you can download a factory service workshop manual for the Mazda RX8 for free here.
Nevertheless, within the deep hollows of their engineering team where “skunk-works project” thrived, the development of the 13B MSP was kept afloat using MX-5 Miata chassis, which eventually caught the attention of Mazda’s management, that was under Ford’s watchful management which saw the development of the 13B-MSP that gave us the RENESIS and the RX-EVOLV concept car.
The RX series seems to still have the rage it needs to keep going, and the introduction of a RX 9 or RX 10 could be in the works already.