Remembering the Very Last Rotary-Powered Production Car

With the news that Mazda is finally bringing back the rotary, take a look back at the last car to sport one, the RX-8.

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Mazda

The Mazda RX-8 was on sale for nearly a decade between 2003 and 2012, yet, the car world rarely ever pays attention to it. That's mainly because it's overshadowed by its prettier, faster, and more fun predecessor, the RX-7. But since Mazda is finally bringing the rotary back from the dead in the form of an EV range extender, we thought now would be a good time to take a look back at the final production car to rock the quirky triangle-shaped engine.

Motoring TV recently uploaded a video of its original first drive of the RX-8, detailing how it stacked up when new in 2004. It was bigger than the RX-7 it replaced, with real back seats and rear-hinge doors for easy access. The turbocharged engine was replaced with a naturally aspirated unit that sounded great, but lacked any usable torque low in the rev range.

But while it wasn't as capable as the RX-7, Motoring TV praised its smooth, linear power delivery and fully defeatable traction control—something many cars don't have these days. Check out the full video below.

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