When people talk about Mazda’s 13B twin-rotor Wankel engine, they tend to imagine lowered, twin-turbocharged FD RX-7s with giant wings and huge front splitters. But that 13B engine doesn’t get nearly enough credit for powering what has to be the greatest little bus of all time: the Parkway Rotary 26.
Fifty years ago today, Mazda sent a shockwave through the industry by offering for sale the world’s first rotary powered sports car—the beautiful and futuristic Mazda Cosmo Sport 110S. Despite its lackluster sales, the Cosmo set the stage for rotary engine use in the automaker’s lineup, and what resulted are among the…
The seller of today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe 914 says it was his first Porsche, and that it could be yours too. Let’s see if its Wankel engine and overall condition will make its price the first order of business.
Like many of our readers, I have an unhealthy fascination with rotary and other non-reciprocating piston engines. In fact, that very first sentence right there probably alienated most of our saner readers, but I don’t care, because a new type of rotary, non-reciprocating combustion engine was just tested on a kart for…
Every time a new Mazda model is announced, a certain number of unwashed yokels always seem to mention that the car would be hella better if only they used the Wankel rotary. News flash: the rotary is a garbage engine.
Rotary engines aren’t perfect. They’re known to burn oil, blow seals, make very little torque and above all, not do so hot on EPA fuel economy drive cycles. Despite all that, there’s something about the high-revving swirly hamentaschen that has our hearts, and now Mazda’s filed a patent that could make them feasible…
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.