Rotary engine: The icon of Mazda- (3) Rotary engine, is the icon of Mazda

Single-rotor engine of NSU VS Dual-rotor engine of Mazda

After the resolving of Wankel engine’s fatal defect, Mazda tried to product the car equipped rotary engine. In fact, the NSU, which was a company invented rotary engine, already completed a development of prototype vehicle equipped single-rotor engine. Although it showed high RPM rising up smoothly, it could not say that it was successful because a serious vibration and not enough torque in the range of low RPM. Mazda wanted to improve these drawbacks so they started developing duel-rotor engine prototype, which was because of the expectation that torque fluctuation would be same with general internal combustion engines. There were of course several trials and errors but the expectation came true and the testing was succeeded in 1965 at last.


<NSU Spider- The world’s first rotary engine car(single-rotor engine). However, it had some problems.>



The first vehicle installed dual-rotor engine – Cosmo Sport 110

2 years later, Mazda introduced the Cosmo Sport 110 which is the world’s first dual-rotor engine vehicle. The car, passed the 100,000km test driving, had the 110hp and the engine (491cc*2) called ‘Type 10A’ and equipped carbon-based apex seals. After launching the Cosmo Sport 110, Mazda represented several models following it – R100 two-door coupe, Luce R130 and RX-3. In 1971, RX-7 installed ‘Type 12A engine’ was launched. From the second generation, especially, it was equipped ‘Type 13B-REW engine’ installed Sequential Twin Scroll Turbo system in 1993.

Mazda steadily developed and improved rotary engine. Various attempts were made such as triple-rotor engine – 20B-REW rotary engine launched in 1990 and it was also included Sequential Twin Turbo System.


<Mazda Cosmo 110- The world’s first dual rotor engined car. It achieved the mass production of rotary engine vehicle>





Production suspension of rotary engine car

RX8, which was introduced in 2001, is the last model of rotary engine vehicle, the engine called as ‘Renesis’  was equipped and consist of two of 654cc rotor engine. This car was the last model of Mazda’s rotary engine lineup because of several problems such as an environmental issue by low fuel efficiency and decrease of sales. Although Mazda tried to introduce eco-friendly concept cars operated by hydrogen-fuel rotary engine such as HR-X2 or RX-8 Hydrogen RE, Mazda announced discontinuance of rotary engine cars’ production in 2011 at last.


<RX8- The last model of rotary engined car>



<HR-X2, in 1993. It was s concept car of hydrogen fuel rotary engine>






Mazda (n.d.). History of Rotary [online] available from <; [19 Dec 2013]

The Auto Channel (2004). The Wankel Engine History [online] available from <; [19 Dec 2013]

Autocar (2013). History of the Mazda rotary engine [online] <> %5B12 Dec 2013]

Autospeed (2008). The History of Mazda’s Rotary Engine [online] available from < > [19 Dec 2013]

Howstuffworks (n.d.). How Rotary Engines Work [online] available from < > [20 Dec 2013]

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