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Replacement for internal combustion engine??

by Steven Haninger / January 19, 2006 5:20 AM PST

Has anyone here heard of or seen this?


I remember the Wankel engine many years ago which was a rotary of German design. At least two Japanese automakers (NSU and Mazda) built cars using these. The engines were plagued with durability problems as new materials were needed for seals and such. The engine, pound for pound, put out more HP than piston types but never caught on and disappeared. This engine, as I understand it, is still in development and is primarily being designed for military applications. The engine is supposed be be quite light weight which lends well for aircraft use. I found this interesting.

In no way am I connected to or have I invested in this company (yet) BTW.

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Mazda is producing and selling the RX 8 as "we speak"....
by Jack Ammann / January 19, 2006 6:51 AM PST

...The RX 8 has the rotary engine. The "durability problems" were worked out by 1974 after 3 years of production. With the 70 cubic inch engine, 300 (SAE) horsepower at 10,000 RPM is routine. There are many older Mazda rotary engine vehicles on the road today, including the Rotary Engine Pickup.

And by the way, the Rotary Engine is an internal combustion Otto cycle engine.

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Very interesting...
by EdH / January 19, 2006 7:03 AM PST

though I think it would be classified as an internal combustion engine. Not really like the Wankel at all. It will be intersting to see if it gets anywhere.

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Jack and Ed....another mistake
by Steven Haninger / January 19, 2006 7:17 AM PST
In reply to: Very interesting...

It's an internal combustion using similar principles as the piston driven engines. There was a guy from this company interviewed on local radio today and that got me interested in checking out the site as he was not able to describe the engine. I could picture the Wankel but not his description of an engine which sent 24 power pulses per revolution of the engine. He mentioned the current prototype which was about the size of a large coffee can that could develop over 40 HP and a slightly larger version that put out over 100. One question asked was one of torque as that measure seems to be one largely based on engine mass. The motor is supposed to be in production for military use beginning this spring, according the interviewee.

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(NT) (NT) Mistake...I wrongly stated NSU was Japanese
by Steven Haninger / January 19, 2006 7:08 AM PST
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That's right Steve. NSU was a German engine. And...
by Jack Ammann / January 19, 2006 3:10 PM PST

...there was a motorcycle with a single rotor Wankel engine also. And I think it was an NSU. Also Mercedes made a four rotor Wankel racer that went over 200 MPH without even breathing hard. And a slightly modified Mazda RX3 with the two rotor 12A Wankel (1200 cc) would go over 165 MPH.

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Auto mergers were common in Deutschland
by Steven Haninger / January 19, 2006 8:08 PM PST

At one time, Volkswagen either owned or partnered with NSU. As such, they owned patent rights to the Wankel as well. At some point NSU and Auto Union joined. This became Audi. I believe I first read about the Wankel in Popular Mechanics and not an auto mag. It was an interesting concept but had some inherent drawbacks. It was not fuel efficient and emissions were a bit high. EPA regs and rising fuel costs made continuing to develop the technology a bit unattractive. The VW bug, as I recall, was once considered as a candidate to have it's air cooled flat 4 replaced with a Wankel. That never happened...except maybe in folks personal garages.

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by EdH / January 19, 2006 11:16 PM PST

Made a Wankel motorcycle.

Rolls Royce and GM experimented with it as well. I believe there were others.

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Steve, I believe Mazda was the only company that made
by Dave Konkel [Moderator] / January 19, 2006 9:23 PM PST

Wankel-based cars, and their reliability ratings in Consumer Reports were not good.

-- Dave K, Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

The opinions expressed above are my own,
and do not necessarily reflect those of CNET!

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Dave, did you read my above posts about....
by Jack Ammann / January 19, 2006 11:09 PM PST

...NSU, Mercedes, and an NSU motorcycle? GM put out some test cars also.

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