• Mazda Won’t Revive the RX Sports Car Series

The chance of Mazda’s rotary-powered, RX-8 sports car getting a second chance at life just got its coffin nailed shut. The news comes by way of Mazda Motor Corporation’s CEO Masamichi Kogai. The money-minded leader says the automaker will focus on making its current lineup of products better with continuous updates while making them more fuel-efficient and sporty with its Skyactiv technologies.

In an interview with Automotive News, Kogai said Mazda’s seven-vehicle lineup is almost stretched to its max and that it is time to focus on a new generation of improvements. Kogai is working with a rather limited budget after Mazda’s rough decline, and in his opinion, adding more vehicles to the mix isn’t the right solution.

"We don’t have that kind of vehicle [the RX-8] in our future product plan," he said. "If you increase the number of segments, then the resources we can allocate to each will decline and that will prevent us from developing truly good products." He followed up with a poignant baseball reference, "We don’t need a home run, if each player hits a single."

This isn’t to say Mazda is now in the business of making boring cars. Don’t forget the newly released, fourth-generation MX-5 Miata, along with the sporty little CX-3 subcompact crossover and the surprisingly fun Mazda 2 hatchback.

Kogai’s main focus is on restoring the automaker’s financial freedom through increasing sales volume while holding down pricing incentives. Perhaps once the company is back on solid ground, more “homerun”-style vehicles will make their appearance. For now, we’ll just have to wait.

Click past the jump to read more about Mazda’s future plans.

Why it matters

It’s impossible to blame Korgai’s move to not stretch the automaker’s funds too thin. Adding an additional product requires mass amounts of capital — something Mazda just doesn’t have sitting around these days. With a fun-to-drive flair embedded in all its vehicles, Mazda doesn’t necessarily need a halo sports car. Besides, the MX-5 Miata basically fills that roll anyway.

Mazda RX-8

2010 - 2011 Mazda RX-8 High Resolution Exterior
- image 340912

The RX-8 first hit the market in 2003 as a successor to the famed RX-7. Its unconventional design wont it both praise and nay-sayers, but no one could argue its uniqueness. The rear-opening suicide doors offered a coupe-like roofline with seating for four.

The RX-8 came powered with a twin-rotor rotary engine displacing 1.3 liters. The little engine could rev to 9,000 rpm while making 232 horsepower at 8,500 with the six-speed manual transmission. Those with the six-speed automatic made due with 212 horsepower.

Pricing for the RX-8 started at $26,495 during its last year in production, with prices increasing to $31,990 for a top-trim level.

Source: Automotive News

Mark McNabb
Mark McNabb was a contributor at TopSpeed from 2013 to 2018. Growing up, Mark always had a mind for tinkering on random items throughout his home and dad’s garage, including a 1953 Ford Mainline and 1971 Corvette Stingray.  Read full bio
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