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Spied: Is this the mule for the next rotary-powered Mazda?

Spied: Is this the mule for the next rotary-powered Mazda? image

Aurick Go / Carpix for AutoIndustriya.com | December 08, 2017 10:03

An odd RX-8 prowls the ‘ring

What you’re looking at here are photos of what appears to be a stock late-gen Mazda RX-8. Discontinued in 2012, the RX-8 is by far the last rotary-powered vehicle to come out of Hiroshima. Considering that it’s been half a decade since this car’s stopped production, why then is Mazda making rounds at the Nürburgring with this RX-8?

Spied: Mazda RX-8 mule

If all the hype and speculation is to be believed, this may well be a vital hint towards the next rotary-powered sports car from Mazda. While the RX-8 Mule looks mostly stock outside, a quick glance at the center portion of the front shows several ducting pipes laid out – possibly to direct airflow towards key components.

Spied: Mazda RX-8 mule

And while the RX-8 had trims that came with dual oil coolers, the fact that this particular mule has them may hint towards a rather powerful rotary powerplant. Rumors indicate that the rotary engine will be paired with an electric motor to make more power and compensate for the rotary’s inherent lack of low-end torque.

Spied: Mazda RX-8 mule

While rotary fans are still waiting with bated breath for the revival of the spinning triangle, for now this may well be a long ways out. Mazda is expected to make the reveal of the rotary sports coupe sometime in 2019 – the 60th year since the creation of the Wankel Rotary Engine.