MAZDA SNAPPED TESTING ROTARY?
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.