Engine Tech | Boxer, Inline, or V?

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Rotary Engine

The Wankel rotary engine is similar to all other engines in the fact that it needs air, fuel, and spark to run – but that’s about it. In an attempt to reduce the amount of moving parts, the rotary engine features eccentric rotors that spin around a central shaft. This replaces the traditional crankshaft that moves the connecting rods and the pistons in the cylinders. As the rotor spins in the housing, it receives air, compresses it while mixing it with fuel, then spark enters the equation to create the combustion process. Although the rotary engine was designed to be more reliable than all other layouts, the plans didn’t go accordingly. Overheating, leaking, and oil burning issues gave this layout a bad reputation; however, it still holds a huge fan base in the Mazda RX-7 community.