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The rotary engine was an engine that almost didn’t make it passed its first try. It had a lot of downsides and imperfections that made a lot of company’s abandoned their ideas for a rotary powered engine. Many companies were intrigued by what was said but once they saw the final product they quickly had a change of heart. Only one company stayed true to the rotary engine and that company is Mazda. Mazda felt what NSU a German car company to produce the world first rotary car, the “Prinz”. Mazda almost called it quits when their fine engineers couldn’t get the car to run properly. Mazda owner persisted and after five long grueling years they had a fully functional working Wankel Rotary Combustion Engine (WRCE, Wankel after the person who invented it Dr. Felix Wankel).

Mazda will become the worlds leading developer of rotary engines which praised many cars like the 110s Cosmo Sport which was only available in Japan and the Mazda RX-7 which is best known in the United States. The Rx-7 took the U.S by storm and took over many American car companies, in sales that is. Mazda has now regained its loyal followers of the RX-7 and new people who are just learning what Rotary Engine by introducing a more powerful, naturally aspirated, fuel efficient, 4-seater sports car properly named The Mazda RX-8. This car is the perfect rotary car ever built, as you will learn about the trial and tribulations behind the world’s only optional automobile engine to that of a piston engine.

Toyo Cork Kogyo better known as Mazda MotorsInc

The Mazda Motor Company remained unique for the 20 plus years because of its rotary engine. The rotary combustion engine had so many downfalls that at one point it almost appeared to go extinct forever. The engine design nearly met its maker so to speak in the 1970 if not for the Toyo Kogyo Company based in Japan. Rotary Combustion Engine concept began in the early 1950’s, with a German company known as NSU (Neckarsulmer Strick-Machinen Union), which primarily dealt with making motorcycles. NSU took one man’s idea, Dr. Felix Wankel’s revolutionary idea for a new engine design reality, and Toyo Kogyo improved on its design to utter perfection.

Dr. Ing Felix Wankel

NSU brought Dr. Felix Wankel into their company to help him make his dream of a rotary combustion engine come true with the help of the company of course. They first tested Wankel’s ability and gave him his first task, which was to develop a “supercharger” for a 500 cc engine for a motorcycle. They were amazed with the results, it made the motorcycle eight times more powerful than ever. It resulted in a belt-driven rotary compressor. Finally in 1954 the first version of a rotary combustion engine was born. The first rotary powered vehicle was the NSU Prinz, which used a 498 cc single rotor engine, compared to the 654 cc two rotor designs of today’s rotary engine only found in Mazda RX-7 and the newest to their list the 2004 Mazda RX-8.

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