UPDATE: Comment from Mazda Australia's Steve McIver added.
UNABLE TO meet Europe's strict Euro V emissions laws, the Mazda RX-8 will reportedly be pulled from the European market later this year.
According to Britain's Autocar magazine, rather than re-engineering the existing Renesis rotary engine so late in the RX-8's life cycle, the Japanese carmaker has decided to retire the current generation all together.
While Europe's emissions laws are understood to be the reason behind the decision, it is unclear if the model will be cancelled globally or in Europe only. Autocar's report claims that production of the current RX-8 has ended, leaving only current stock available to buyers.
Speaking with TMR today, Mazda Australia's Steve McIver said that, despite reports to the contrary, there has been no decision to cancel the current-generation RX-8.
"There's been no decision on discontinuing the current RX-8. Production continues, and Mazda is always working to improve its rotary technology," Mr McIver said.
The RX-8 was last updated early in 2008, gaining a modestly restyled face and a number of new features. Updates to the Renesis engine saw the same 170kW on offer, but with enhanced low-to-mid range response.
Mazda was reportedly due to unveil an all-new RX-8 at last year's Frankfurt Auto Show, but no such model has been seen or heard of in the time since those early reports last year.
At this stage, the next generation of Mazda's four-door coupe is expected to debut sometime next year, although without even a concept or spy photos - the usual signs of an upcoming new model - it remains to be seen if that report is reliable.
A new 1.6 litre direct-injected rotary engine is in development, however reports out of Japan claim that Mazda's engineers are struggling to bring weight down, as it pushes to reduce the overall weight of its cars by 100kg within five years.
TMR has contacted Mazda Australia to confirm the reports of the RX-8's retirement, and will update this report as more information becomes available.