The last rotary sedan Mazda made was the JDM 929, discontinued in 1991. But twenty years back, the two-door RX-2 was built to be a screaming giant slayer on and off the tracks.
As the automotive industry matures, the oddballs get weeded out. Which weirdo was the most intriguing?
[The Opel Genéve Concept made its premiere at the Geneva Motor Show in 1975. It was to be powered by a Wankel engine, but the oil crisis in the early 1970s and the engine’s high fuel consumption halted this project. Photo credit: Opel]
West German NSU launched the Wankel rotary-engined Ro80 in 1967. Their revolutionary sedan won the European Car of the Year award in 1968, but also left bankrupt NSU by 1969. Almost half a century later, driving it is a unique and surprisingly pleasant experience.
We received a whole bunch of tips about that interesting Solar Roadway idea, and we were intrigued, until we realized that the Solar Roadway would probably be incredibly expensive, just to start. But a lot of genius ideas for your car sound really good, at least at first, on paper.
The guy who invented the rotary engine was a Jew-hating militaristic Nazi who was so ardently fascist he got thrown out of his own party, twice. Yes, Felix Wankel was a Nazi nutjob.
Felix Wankel's rotary engine has been fascinating gearheads for decades. Even so, Wankels' engine has been generating more than its share of press recently, with some news sources speculating that the engine will be making a return as a compact range-extending generator in future plug-in hybrids from Audi and Mazda…
Welcome to Used Car Face Off, where we find two similar or similarly priced used cars and ask you which one you would buy. Choose wisely!
The Wankel engine is the greatest automotive engine story that never was. It was the way of the future, a simpler engine for an easier life. And today, not one single car is being made with one. Mazda gave it a go for a few years with greats like the 787B and the RX-7, but they weren't the only ones.
If you’ve ever thought that you oughta’ boughta’ Miata, then perhaps today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe rotary roadster will be the catalyst that makes you finally pull the trigger. That is of course if its price doesn’t blow it.
Last Friday, June 22, 2012, the Wankel rotary engine's last remaining and steadfast devotee, Mazda, produced their final rotary engine in their Hiroshima plant. The Wankel engine never really fulfilled its promises and hopes, though over its history over 25 major automobile, motorcycle, tractor, and aircraft…
Wankel's Rotary engine found little following in Europe after the demise of NSU, but Mazda embraced the technology like RX-8 owners embrace 2-for-1 Castrol deals. Here's a 1960's educational animation from Mazda explaining why the rotary engine is an advancement on that old piston-powered buggy your grandma drives.
Mazda's next-gen "Sky" version of the rotary engine will get "drastically improved" fuel economy. [GoAuto]
I’ve turned 30 today. My wife and her mother got me a set of bespoke cufflinks in the shape of Wankel engine rotors. Life is officially awesome.
In the ‘70s, Mazda had an ad campaign saying that while other cars go boing, boing boing, Mazdas go Hmmmmmm. Today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe RX2 hails from that era, but its updates might just make you go boing!
The Wankel engine has always proved that Mazda marches to a different beat. As it's getting toward convertible weather, Nice Price or Crack Pipe has a flambe-painted '89 drop-top at a price you might find hard to beat.
Like the Porsche 944, we were surprised by how poorly many RX-7s fare in the 24 Hours Of LeMons (though the succeed/fail breakdown seems to be an all-or-nothing sort of deal, with few falling in the middle third of the standings). Fuel system ailments and fragile suspensions seem to be the weak points.