A 45-year era of the rotary engine ended this past weekend when a 2011 RX-8 Spirit R, which you see in the eighth, ninth, and tenth pictures above) rolled off the production line. As of now, that was the last rotary-powered Mazda that will come through production. Rotary engines suffered heavily from terrible fuel consumption, but were beneficial for their light weight and smooth-running funcitonality. Possible options to bring the Rotary back would be in an altered version with SKYACTIV or as a generator for a hydrogen model. We're not expecting them to disappear for too long.
[via Car and Driver]