Mazda’s RX-8 will live on for a little while longer as the automaker extends production of its iconic sports car by another 1,000 units due to strong demand from customers in Japan.

Last August Mazda announced that it was ending production of the RX-8 and in celebration launched the RX-8 Spirit R final edition in the Japanese market.

Mazda originally intended to build just 1,000 examples of the RX-8 Spirit R but due to the overwhelming number of orders the automaker has decided to double this figure.

The RX-8 Spirit R is based on either the RX-8 Type RS (with six-speed manual transmission) or Type E (with six-speed automatic transmission), and is named after the final edition Mazda RX-7.

This pedigree is reflected in stylish features that include exclusive seat designs and colored alloy wheels, plus special badging, blacked-out headlights, red brake calipers, standard curtain and front side airbags, and Recaro bucket seats.

Mazda says it has received orders from a variety of customers of all ages including sports car fans and rotary engine enthusiasts. The six-speed manual transmission version is proving most popular, constituting about 66 percent of orders. Orders are almost equally divided between the three available body colors, Aluminum Metallic, Sparkling Black Mica, and Crystal White Pearl Mica.

Mazda commenced sales of the RX-8 in April 2003, and as of the end of March 2012 has produced 192,094 units for worldwide markets. With the extended run of RX-8 Spirit R models, Mazda will now end production of the only rotary-powered car on the market in June.

For all the rotary fans out there, rest assured the engine will live on at Mazda, though perhaps not as we know it.