R - Rotary engine

05 June 2006

Rotary engine - An unusual engine design, as used in the Mazda RX-8, which does away with conventional cylinders. Instead, it uses a triangular rotor which turns in an oval chamber to create combustion chambers in which the fuel is burnt.

The design is far smaller and lighter than a conventional engine, and is also smoother thanks to lower levels of vibration. However, rotary engines tend to be less fuel-efficient and create more emissions.

The rotary engine was created by Dr Felix Wankel in 1957 and is still known as the Wankel engine.


Want to know the difference between your APRs and your PCPs? Our Glossary will guide you through the minefield of car-buying terms.

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