A new rotary engine? Or a new development driver?
Yes, that’s not the first time we see a Mazda RX-8 prototype at the Nurburgring – we spied the same test car this summer and a very similar one almost two years ago. We are surprised to see the Japanese manufacturer is back yet again at the legendary track with the same car and that fact brings one major question – what is Mazda doing with the RX-8?
Well, there are a few possible options and one of them is what we want to believe – the automaker is developing a new rotary engine. Patent images from earlier in 2019 show Mazda is probably working on a new rotary unit but nothing with this prototype actually hints that it uses a version of this new powertrain. Yes, there’s camouflage at the front but it’s probably there just to fool people.
Considering this is an old trial car, there’s one more option and it seems way more likely. Did you notice the “L” badge on the rear window? According to a YouTube user that goes by the name MrZed0815, it’s there to indicate the car is driven by a new development driver, who is currently being trained – and this theory makes a lot more sense to us. As a side note, the prototype didn’t feature the “L” badge when it was spied in July this year.
The wildest speculations suggest Mazda is working on a new rotary sports car to be launched in 2021. Unfortunately, nothing with this prototype makes us believe this is true and the fact that the brand’s new rotary engine is expected to be used as a range-extender makes things even worse. What we know for sure is that this RX-8 test car at the Nurburgring will keep the internet rumor mill churning for a while.