4 Reasons Why The Rotary Engine Is Dead

They may return as range extending hybrids, but for now there is no rotary.

3y ago

The Wankel engine was last seen in a production car in the Mazda RX-8, and currently there are no rotary engines in production. Mazda may bring it back in the RX Vision, however there are many disadvantages to the rotary engine which has kept it from being successful.

Rotary engines have a low thermal efficiency as a result of a long combustion chamber and unburnt fuel making it to the exhaust. They also have problems with rotor sealing as a result of uneven temperatures in the combustion chamber since combustion only occurs in one portion of the engine. Oil consumption is also a problem, as oil is injected to add lubrication and help keep the rotor sealed. Finally, emissions are poor and fuel economy is terrible, and ultimately this is the cause of it’s death. The video below will show in detail the disadvantages using a 13B rotary engine out of a Mazda RX-7.

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Comments (23)

  • Ive owned 3 RX3s and a Series one RX7 over the years and loved them all , never had a reliability problem - it'll be sad to see this iconic engine go

      3 years ago
    • Jeff I wish you lived near my son to give him lessons on how to keep a rotary healthy. He thinks his RXs are the best cars on the road even though he can’t keep them running. What or where can he find the best resource of info for the care and feeding...

      Read more
        4 months ago
    • If you haven't already, check out Rob Dahm on YouTube

        7 days ago
  • You mean, poor fuel economy/efficiency, bad emissions, and rapidly degrading apex seals weren't enough, there's a fourth? *Oh you specified oil consumption and poor emissions.

      3 years ago
    • Only if you don't take care of them. No synth oil, and wind the hell outta them.

        3 years ago
    • Right just rev it to maximum to increase the oil pressure and burn the most oil possible. Even without synthetic you are dumping money into it either way lol (fuel and oil, or repairs). But yes, very true.

        3 years ago
  • Got educated

      3 years ago
  • The nice thing about them is the simplicity and few moving parts. Nothig sounds like a boosted 3 rotor 😂😂😂😂

      3 years ago
  • Too bad, it’s a great engine

      3 years ago