The rotary engine also known as the wankle engine was created in 1954 by Felix Heinrich Wankel. these engines were used from 1954 till 2012. In my opinion, people who still drive rotary-powered cars are the pinnacle of car nerds. when you compare these engines to piston engines, the rotary engine is worse in just about every way possible. These engines are so much worse in fact that there is no company that still makes them in a stalk manufactured car.
here’s a quick rundown on how these engines work. The rotor itself is shaped like a triangle with rounded sides called a “rouleaux triangle” and it spins around a centric crankshaft the runs through an oval-shaped housing. But its that housing is not a complete oval though, it squeezes inwards on each side of the oval. Now back to the rotor being shaped like a triangle, when it spins it creates small and big gaps depending on where the rotor is with things called apex seals on the tips of the triangles to compress air. When you have a bigger gap air, and fuel is injected into the gap and compresses by the spinning rotor. On the other side of the housing, there is your spark and combustion which gets pushed around into the exhaust port. for every three turns of the crankshaft, the rotor makes one rotation inside of the housing.
Now the main difference between this engine and almost every other engine is that it has zero pistons. other car manufacturers rushed to grab these engines and start making there own because they were nice and simple compared to the existing engines at the time. Mazda was the first manufacturer to create a successful rotary engine that was reliable to the customers. Mazda used this engine in all of there models. They even made a truck with a rotary engine. But this was ended due to low torque. Mazda was the only company that stuck with the rotary engine. Their reason why was because these engines could rev higher then piston engines could and where smaller due to fewer parts needed. This meant that they could fit the engine into smaller cars and place it lower into the engine bay which lowered center gravity and gives it better weight distribution around the car. This all equals you having a fun, fast and agile car. Mazda won many races using these exact engines in their infamous rx7 and won many racing titles with it. But this was discontinued in the early 2000’s.
Now there are many reasons why this engine should have failed. But there are still a surprisingly large amount of people that will pay big money for a rotary engine in good condition for there 1999 rx7 which is understandable. The rx7 is a legendary car that I personally want sooooooo bad. So the rotary engine is a perfect example of how different can be good because in the end everyone now wants these engines it seems.
watch this if you did not understand anything that I just said.