Mazda to stop using rotary engines

October 7, 2011 12:00 AM

Mazda has announced that they will be ending their signature rotary engine design when the RX-8 goes off the market in June, signaling the end of the road for the once-popular design choice.

The Japanese automaker has long been associated with the rotary engine, and stuck by it even when many made the switch to piston designs. Over the past few years, more Mazdas have begun using pistons, but the RX-8 was the lone hold-out, according to the Associated Press.

Rotary engine designs are considered to be quieter than piston engines, but they are also costlier, cause more emissions, and use more fuel, a factor that is becoming increasingly important for many buyers. One advantage for rotaries is that they use fewer parts, which means they need auto repairs a bit less often.

Mazda will not be debuting a new rotary-based vehicle in the near future, but said it would continue to study the design and hopefully come up with something that could compete with modern vehicles.

"Although R-X production is ending, the rotary engine will always represent the spirits of Mazda, and Mazda remains committed to its ongoing development," Mazda CEO Takashi Yamanouchi told the news source.

Whether you have a rotary or piston-based engine, you still need to keep up with regular auto maintenance, such as oil changes, to keep your car running cleanly.

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