Watch: 4-rotor Wankel engine screams and spits flames
A car you may be familiar with is the Mazda 787B, the champion of the 24 Hours of Le Mans 1991. The R26B engine it used had four rotors and sounded absolutely brutal, however, such an engine was never used in a production car. Until now.
Meet Rob Dahm, an automotive YouTuber who creates content on custom project cars and reveals the engineering behind it. At SEMA 2016 he unveiled the 4-rotor RX-7, which was a proof of concept that a four-rotor Wankel engine is possible to refine and fit into a production car.
This time he's back at it again with an ambitious project to create a car with the world's first Billet four-rotor engine in North America. Hearing it roar to life is both a deafening and incredible experience; it truly is an engineering accomplishment. The video is 17 minutes long as he does explain the process of creating and preparing the engine prior to testing. However, if you are short on data then the engine testing occurs in the first 30 seconds, at 12:25 and at 15:30.
In case you did not already know, a rotary engine in a production car typically comes with two or rarely three rotors. Giving it a fourth rotor is not as simple as gluing an additional rotor and hoping for the best. One has to precisely time the firing order to ensure combustion occurs both effectively and efficiently, just like the pistons of a conventional engine. The four-rotor engine he has worked on started life as a $60,000 USD engine from Billet Rotary, suggesting he truly is ready to dedicate his time and effort to create something extraordinary.
Once finalised, the engine will sit in his RX-7 and replace the previous four-rotor. He does indeed have plans for SEMA 2019 which will start on the 6th of November, so do expect the final build to be there.
Is this your favourite rotary-engined project car?
Thanks for reading and feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.