Savanna RX-3: The Mazda that Saved the Rotary
As global manufacturers jettisoned their rotary engine programs, it was the Mazda RX-3 launched in 1972 that showed it could survive fuel consumption and emissions hurdles. It was a close call then, and no less so today, as the RX-8 has succumbed to the same challenges with no news of a rotary replacement.
The rotary sucked the life out of Mazda’s piston engine programs. If the desperate, last-minute repackaging of the ageing 1300 mechanicals as the first 323 hatchback had not found buyers, it was curtains for Mazda and the rotary.