1st Generation RX-7 History

The Rotary engine was first conceived by a German named Felix Wankel in the 1920's but it wasn't until the late 50's that one was ever built.

The unusual design of the engine uses triangular pistons called rotors which rotate rather than move up and down as most internal combustion engines do.  A clear explanation can be found at http://www.rotaryengineillustrated.com

The rotary engine is compact, lightweight and contains about 10% of the moving parts of conventional piston engines. They also produce the equivalent power of a piston engine with twice it's capacity.

The drawbacks of the rotary engine are that they have a high fuel consumption and have been often been accused of being unreliable.



Mazda was one of the few car manufacturers that took on the Wankel rotary engine and continues to use them to power their vehicles today.

Mazda used the rotary engine to power the Cosmo Sport in 1967 and continued to use it to power the R100, RX-2, RX-3, RX-4, RX-5, RX-7 and most recently the RX-8.

Mazda produced several different types of engines.
- The 10A 1000cc in the early days.
- The 12A 1200cc was next for the RX-2.3.4 and later the RX-7.
- Then the 13B engine came along for the RX-4 and RX-5 and was later used in the RX-7.
- Some of the late model Cosmo's and RX-7's were built with the triple rotor 20B 2000cc.
- At last the RX-8 was produced with a "reborn" rotary engine called the Renesis.

Rotor housings of a RX-7

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