Dashiell John
by on November 5, 2021

The rotary engine was the idea of a German genius Felix Wankel who built his new internal combustion engine in 1929. The development for commercially used vehicles began after the second world war. The modern rotary engine, however, was constructed by Dieter Paschke. In the 1960s The NSU and Mazda went on a joint venture to develop the rotary engine and explore its potential. Thereafter Mazda went on to produce cars with a rotary engine. But are there any other cars that use the same technology? Here in our list, we have listed down 3 such cars that still use the rotary engine. If you are looking to modify your BMW then check here for BMW 316D engine rebuild services.

NSU Ro80

If you belong to the same age as I do, the first car that comes to mind is the NSU R080. Most of the people have forgotten how complex and advanced its design was even for its time. The splendid use of discs all over and the capacity to push out 115 bhp just with one litre of fuel was simply amazing. Instead what we do remember is the bad rotor tips, complete engine revamp at 30K mileage and its sheer unreliable design.

While it still worked, it was a great ride. In earlier versions, it did experience problems, but it won’t be fair to write it in black just for those reasons. Too bad that NSU was shut down because they experimented with the rotary engine. If they didn’t go bankrupt, who knows, we might even be able to get some decent performing rotary cars in the future that never occurred.

Mazda RX-7

This beast only had a capacity of 1.3 litres. Despite that, it was able to push 252 bhp.  The twin turbochargers coupled with the 1218 kg made it able to do what it could. The engine was small and was mounted for the mid-centre configuration. The car was extremely light-footed and was fun to drive.

This car was so popular that it was featured in many popular racing games like Need for speed and Race driver Grid. It soon became a cult symbol. Now it wasn’t without problems. The engine needed to be rebuilt after every 60 K miles and the main cause was – you guessed it right – the burned rotor tips. Still, it was a high performing car that lived its life.

Citroën GS Birotor

This car is also a cult classic. The car should have never been made – at least not at that time when the manufacturers took on the venture. It had a 1000 CC engine with the ability to produce 106 bhp and could have been a suitable candidate for the high-performance tier.

It had quite the design. The interior was luxurious and the outside had disc brakes all over. Unfortunately, 1973 struck the world with oil crises and just like all the rotary engine cars, Citroen suffered from the extreme thirst for fuel. The fuel prices skyrocketed and Citreon was no longer an economic choice.


These are some of the historical cars with a rotary engine. Sadly they weren’t able to go on for too long because of the inherent shortcomings of the rotary design itself.


Posted in: Car services
Topics: rotary engine
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