MAZDA SNAPPED TEST­ING RO­TARY?

NZ Performance Car - - News -

It’s odd that this hasn’t al­ready blown up the in­ter­net, but — thanks to new pho­tos aris­ing from the depths of the dark net — we’ve re­cently learned that, in De­cem­ber 2017, Mazda was spot­ted test­ing in Hochtaunuskreis, Ger­many — the lo­ca­tion of its re­search and devel­op­ment of­fices. What makes this test note­wor­thy is that the car was an RX-8 — a model that has been out of pro­duc­tion since 2012. Why would Mazda be driv­ing a test ve­hi­cle–plated car that is no longer be­ing made? We be­lieve that it’s to in­con­spic­u­ously test a new en­gine pack­age.

The front end of the RX-8 had been en­larged, for what we as­sume is bet­ter air feed­ing, while, em­bed­ded in the grille, were sev­eral odd-look­ing de­vices that we pre­sume are used for test­ing. Surely this means a ro­tary plat­form — Mazda wouldn’t put a Sky­ac­tiv pis­ton en­gine in a ro­tary-only model, would they? Who knows!

The car ap­peared to be a Spirit R model, which was a Ja­pan-only op­tion pro­duced to com­mem­o­rate the last 2000 RX-8s made — lead­ing us to be­lieve that the car was, in fact, built in Ja­pan and sent to Ger­many as a test mule.

We’ve had whis­pers about a new ro­tary for years, with Mazda even de­but­ing the RX-Vi­sion con­cept back in 2015, but, as yet, there’s no of­fi­cial word on what was spot­ted in Hochtaunuskreis. We ea­gerly await more in­for­ma­tion.

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