Mazda plans to end sales of its rotary engine-powered RX-8 sports car in Europe as the engine fails to meet new European auto emission regulations taking effect in January 2011, company officials have said.

A Kyodo news agency report said that although the RX-8 can be modified to meet the new regulations, the recent sales performance has led Mazda to decide to end sales of the vehicle in Europe.

But the report added that  RX-8 sales will continue in Japan and North America. Reports in the US have said that North American sales of the model could also finish after 2011.

Mazda will terminate production of the RX-8 for Europe at its head office plant in Ujina, Hiroshima Prefecture, in June and end European sales when inventories are exhausted, the report said.

European RX-8 sales totalled just 1,128 units in 2009, the report added.