This week Mazda announced the death of the RX-8. That means that for the first time since the Cosmo 110S debuted in 1967, there will be no rotary powered car sold anywhere in the world. Currently about 300 unsold RX-8s remain in the US and when that supply runs out, it’s the end of the road.
For every source claiming a two-seater RX-7 or uber-freaky RX-9 is on the way, there’s another saying this is the final nail in a trochoid-shaped coffin. Mazda itself pointed to increasing difficulty keeping up with emissions and fuel economy standards, as well as lagging sales (only 1,134 sold last year). Sadly, these factors are likely to put even more strain on Hiroshima from here on out. Officially, Mazda says the rotary is taking a leave of absence, albeit an indefinite one.
It’s a sad week for Mazdafarians but let’s reminisce over old Mazda commercials from the rotary engine’s heyday, starting with the one above announcing the arrival of the car that started it all, the Mazda Cosmo Sports.
In this ad from the mid-70s, Mazda had no less than three rotary powered cars in its lineup — the Cosmo RX-5, Luce RX-4 and Savanna RX-3.
The “Beautiful Rotary,” Savanna RX-7.
An oldie-but-goodie, featuring one of my all-time favorite jams, Rise by Herb Alpert.
The American SA22C debut, in an ad that features a Datsun 240Z.
A Japanese RX-2 Capella ad shot in the US.
Japanese ad for the 1972 Savanna RX-3.
The classic American ad for an RX-3 Wagon in which a piston engine goes boing, boing boing.
The Mazda Familia Rotary Coupe atop a dramatic cliff.
And yes, we know it’s not nostalgic, but the Mazda Furai is heart-stoppingly awesome in every respect.