Wonderful Engineering

Guy Explains Why The Rotary Engine Never Got Popular

We recently talked about how a Wankel rotary engine works. The working was explained via video that was uploaded by the popular YouTube channel, Engineering Explained. Today we will be discussing why the Wankel rotary engine is dead and the reasons behind it.

The Wankel rotary engine was last seen in action in a production car in the Mazda RX-8. There are no Wankel rotary engines in production. However, there are rumors that Mazda might bring the rotary engines back in its RX Vision. Having said that, there are multiple downsides to using the rotary engine. These disadvantages have kept the rotary engine from becoming as successful as one might have thought.

The rotary engines have a long combustion chamber and unburnt fuel making it to the exhaust. This causes it to have a thermal efficiency on the lower side of the spectrum. That’s not all though; the rotary engines also have trouble with the rotor sealing thanks to the non-uniform temperatures that exist in the combustion chamber. The combustion chamber has uneven temperatures because combustion takes place in only one portion of the engine. Another problem that has rendered the Wankel rotary engine dead is the problem of oil consumption, as oil is injected for the sake of imparting lubrication and for facilitating the rotor to remain sealed. Lastly, the emissions from the Wankel rotary engines are poor. Furthermore, the fuel economy is way beyond terrible. All of these issues have combined together and caused the Wankel rotary engine to die.

What do you think of the rotary engines? Would you rather have them in production or do you think that it is good riddance that they are no longer being created? Do let us know. Meanwhile, we strongly suggest that you check out the following video by Engineering Explained that will tell you about the reasons why the Wankel rotary engine is dead.