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Thread: High Performance Rotary Beetle

  1. #1

    High Performance Rotary Beetle

    A year or two ago I mentioned that the rotary engine, being relatively small, light and powerful, could potentially breathe new life into the no longer produced Beetle. Call me a dreamer, in my mind's eye I even envisioned a partnership between Volkswagen and Mazda although I knew that was unlikely because politics and corporate inertia usually trump good ideas. Strangely, it now appears that a few individuals not only came up with exactly the same idea at almost exactly the same time as me, they actually invested the time and money needed to make working models. I was thinking more along the lines of using the nonturbocharged 12A engine, but someone actually squeezed in a far more powerful turbocharged 13B. This video is darn interesting.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Ken's Avatar
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    Jan 2008
    Lincolnshire, United Kingdom.
    In theory the Wankel engine had a lot going for it. It was quiet, had
    few moving parts and was capable of high revs whilst, at the same time
    being very smooth with a reasonable power output.

    On the downside the fuel/oil mix it ran on resulted in polluted exhaust
    gasses - very unacceptable in this day and age. Fuel economy was not
    very good and the engine, although simple, required more frequent
    maintenance than its normally configured counterpart. Initially, at least,
    the rotor seals were a significant wear area. The engine also ran very
    hot and heat dissipation, especially when the engine was mounted in
    a motorcycle, was a considerable, although not insurmountable, problem.

    That being said, I think that for 'one-offs' and 'specials' where engineering
    skills and innovation are used in order overcome inherent problems enabling
    the build of something different from the norm, there is a place for the rotary
    as evidenced in Jay Leno's video.

    Last edited by Ken; 04-05-2019 at 06:28 AM.
    Die dulci fruimini!
    Wolds Bikers, Lincolnshire, England.

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