A render of a Mazda rotary engine
Tech & Auto
6 Of The Best Rotary Engine Cars Ever Built
NSU Ro 80
NSU unveiled the Ro 80 at the 1967 Frankfurt Motor Show, and Car Magazine praised its sleek design and named the vehicle its Car of the Year.
Car’s editors noted that the Wankel engine’s smooth operation was most noticeable at more than 100 mph. However, the original Ro 80 was prone to excessive wear on the rotor’s tips.
Mazda RX-8
The Mazda RX-8 came equipped with a six-speed manual transmission and an engine producing 238 horsepower or an automatic transmission producing 197 horsepower.
While the RX-8’s engine was notorious for consuming oil and gas, it delivered an exhilarating performance. Mazda dropped the RX-8 and the 13B rotary engine after the 2012 model.
Mazda 787B
In 1991, Mazda entered two 787Bs into the 24 Hours of Le Mans and made history as the first Japanese-made car to win the race.
Both 787Bs were powered by 2.6-liter four-rotor engines that were detuned to 700 horsepower. Afterward, the FIA announced that rotary engines would no longer be allowed at Le Mans.