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Old 08-26-2011, 12:38 PM   #76
dclin
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Originally Posted by robmarch View Post
so why didn't they consider a rotary for the "mazdaspeed" version, rather than a turbo?

the FD was a turbo rotary, the miata would have been a natural gateway car with a NA rotary that would have lowered production costs for the FD, whose market penetration was ultimately price limited.
Again, likely economics. It's much easier to turbo a car than it is to adapt a completely different drive train. Too be honest, the Miata was better off as a piston car, given that it was emulating the classic British roadster. The car buying public tends to reflect the ignorance in people; throw something unusual or different into the mix, and you typically get confusion, push-back, or downright hysteria.

It would take a lot more than sales of another niche car (i.e. Miata) to bring down the costs of producing a rotary. A lot more. But to honest, I don't think Mazda is ever going to consider it as a viable, widely deployed engine now, or in the foreseeable future. If I was a decision maker at Mazda, I wouldn't either. The rotary occupies a very specific niche.

You confuse the enthusiasm with "OMG, the rotary is the best EVAR!!" It has plenty of drawbacks, as any rotary enthusiast will tell you. But I ask you this: How many 1.3 engines (or any other engine of comparable size) can make 238hp and scream to 9k rpm, in a compact, naturally aspirated form?
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Old 08-26-2011, 12:50 PM   #77
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Originally Posted by robmarch View Post
if mazda truly believed in the rotary's benefits, why didn't they put their money where their mouth was and put it in the best selling sports car of all time, the miata? everyone says the problem was lack of volume, that would have made a big difference over many years.

seriously, with the goodwill they had going in the rx line, and all of the benefits that you are all lauding here, the fact that they didn't consider it for the miata is pretty telling, to me.
If you put a rotary engine in a Miata, it is no longer a Miata. What is also known as the MX-5 would have to become the RX-5, and then logically would be known at the Riata. And that just sounds silly...

Seriously though, the Miata is a piston engine car. Always has and always will be. Anything else would not be a Miata...
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Old 08-26-2011, 01:00 PM   #78
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How many 1.3 engines (or any other engine of comparable size) can make 238hp and scream to 9k rpm, in a compact, naturally aspirated form?
0, but just about every 2.5L+ piston engine can be made to make more than 238hp and scream to 9k rpm without rotary's level of oil and gasoline consumption...

the real question is, why should anyone care about an engine's size to power ratio when there is no real world practicality in this design like fuel economy to power and engine size ratio, low end torque below 2k rpm, reliability (talking about this particular 1.3L from mazda)...etc?
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Old 08-26-2011, 01:06 PM   #79
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has anyone ever produced a motorcycle with a rotary? it seems like a natural fit.
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Old 08-26-2011, 01:22 PM   #80
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0, but just about every 2.5L+ piston engine can be made to make more than 238hp and scream to 9k rpm without rotary's level of oil and gasoline consumption...
Honest question, what 2.5l piston engine (other than the S2000, which incidentally had its redline lowered from 8.8k to 8k, which is telling) does all that without FI?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JuggernautTCW View Post

the real question is, why should anyone care about an engine's size to power ratio when there is no real world practicality in this design like fuel economy to power and engine size ratio, low end torque below 2k rpm, reliability (talking about this particular 1.3L from mazda)...etc?
A very small group that loves lightweight, rwd sports cars and feel most sports cars this side of an Elise have become bloated shadows of the term (I think even the Miata has gotten slightly too pudgy) ... like me.

Don't get me wrong, I love torque and all that (have a strange, perverse fascination with the 300 SRT8 at the moment), but everything has its place.
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Old 08-26-2011, 01:26 PM   #81
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has anyone ever produced a motorcycle with a rotary? it seems like a natural fit.
Norton did:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norton_Motorcycle_Company
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Old 08-26-2011, 01:50 PM   #82
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Honest question, what 2.5l piston engine (other than the S2000, which incidentally had its redline lowered from 8.8k to 8k, which is telling) does all that without FI?
He said the engines could be MADE to do that (as a lot of people who really race their cars have their engines revving pretty high), not that there are a ton of production engines that perfectly fit that description. But the S2000 had a 9000 rpm redline (not 8800) reduced to 8200 rpm (not 8000) because they decided the 2.0-liter had terrible torque that was ridiculous for a daily driven car, so they bumped up the displacement to 2.2 and lowered the redline to get the same hp but with higher peak torque along with a broader torque curve.
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Old 08-26-2011, 02:05 PM   #83
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Honest question, what 2.5l piston engine (other than the S2000, which incidentally had its redline lowered from 8.8k to 8k, which is telling) does all that without FI?
the 2.0L S2000 engine actually is probably a decent comparison with the 1.3L rotary. similar hp, similar torque, similar power delivery. (better gas mileage, not as low cg)

seems like a 2.0L flat piston engine could be pretty competitive from a CG perspective also.
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Old 08-26-2011, 02:23 PM   #84
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I wonder if even half of the people who were down talking the RX-8 have ever driven one? The RX-8 was and still is a great car and it makes me extremely sad to see it go. It may not have been the fastest car, but neither are Miatas, S2000's, or WRX's for that matter, but the way it drove was pretty remarkable in my book. I for one am really sad to see it die, and I really hope this is not the end for the Rotary Engine.
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Old 08-26-2011, 02:28 PM   #85
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I wonder if even half of the people who were down talking the RX-8 have ever driven one? The RX-8 was and still is a great car and it makes me extremely sad to see it go. It may not have been the fastest car, but neither are Miatas, S2000's, or WRX's for that matter, but the way it drove was pretty remarkable in my book. I for one am really sad to see it die, and I really hope this is not the end for the Rotary Engine.
My dad has an R3... such a blast to drive. I didn't even matter that it wasn't that fast in a straight line, the car's balance and handling was
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Old 08-26-2011, 03:02 PM   #86
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But the S2000 had a 9000 rpm redline (not 8800) reduced to 8200 rpm (not 8000) because they decided the 2.0-liter had terrible torque that was ridiculous for a daily driven car, so they bumped up the displacement to 2.2 and lowered the redline to get the same hp but with higher peak torque along with a broader torque curve.
When I drove my 2006 S2K into work this morning the redline was 8000. Fuel cut off is at 8200.
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Old 08-26-2011, 03:11 PM   #87
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Originally Posted by TurboGoat324 View Post
I wonder if even half of the people who were down talking the RX-8 have ever driven one? The RX-8 was and still is a great car and it makes me extremely sad to see it go. It may not have been the fastest car, but neither are Miatas, S2000's, or WRX's for that matter, but the way it drove was pretty remarkable in my book. I for one am really sad to see it die, and I really hope this is not the end for the Rotary Engine.
Yes, the RX8 is a great car to drive, but so are the S2000 and Miata that you mentioned, and they don't get gas mileage in the teens.
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Old 08-26-2011, 03:26 PM   #88
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When I drove my 2006 S2K into work this morning the redline was 8000. Fuel cut off is at 8200.
Oh, whoops. I guess I got that mixed up.
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Old 08-26-2011, 03:47 PM   #89
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Originally Posted by TurboGoat324 View Post
I wonder if even half of the people who were down talking the RX-8 have ever driven one? The RX-8 was and still is a great car and it makes me extremely sad to see it go. It may not have been the fastest car, but neither are Miatas, S2000's, or WRX's for that matter, but the way it drove was pretty remarkable in my book. I for one am really sad to see it die, and I really hope this is not the end for the Rotary Engine.
I don't think anyone's talking down the car in this thread, we're debating the benefits and demerits of the rotary engine. And, it seems like many of the people doing that, including myself, have indeed driven a version of the car.

I've also driven one with a turbo, and I can verify that the extra low end torque and power made the car more appealing, which is why I wonder how different things would have been with a more powerful engine.
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Old 08-26-2011, 04:15 PM   #90
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I think we will eventually see another rotary but it may be a while. If Mazda had the money and the economy were better it would be sooner. A sub 2,500lb curb weight would do wonders with a new rotary engine. Using oil wasn’t an issue for me it’s the lack of torque and possibility of flooding. That and the slow straight line speed of course. Drop 500-750 lbs and add another 40 hp and I’d add it as a second car.
The 16X was being prepped with direct fuel injection. I hope it is still built.


1: no intake valves to carbon-foul without the presence of gasoline in the intake tract.

2: quite likely would solve the flooding problem by not needing to saturate the incoming intake charge

3: might also help control fuel flow for stratified burn characteristics, allowing less rich mixtures, less unburned hydrocarbon emissions, and quite possibly a boost in fuel economy, as well.

I can imagine two direct fuel injectors paired next to the two spark plugs per housing, for sequential direct fuel injection, and sequential ignition, so that not all of the fuel tries to combust at the "top" of the combustion chamber immediately, which creates more resistance to the following rotor tip at a specific point, rather than continuous building of pressure throughout the compression side of the cycle, until the leading rotor tip reaches the exhaust port.

Paul Lamar has some ideas about stratified charge rotaries that include a high pressure air jet, with an anti-reversion ball valve in the combustion-face of the rotor housing, that would feed a small metered volume of high-pressure air into the combustion stage directly, near the spark plug area in the rotor housing, to maintain Air-Fuel Ratio during stratified burn combustion cycles, so that not all of the oxygen is burned up immediately, and further fuel input isn't just wasted.

The initial intake air volume could be slightly reduced, as well as the initial fuel input, and both more fuel, and more air could be injected into the combustion chamber as the rotor passes through each combustion cycle, causing it to burn and build pressure longer, rather than all in the first few milliseconds of the rotor's pass through the combustion and compression cycle, and then just waiting for the rotation into the exhaust stage.

Paul Lamar's rotary engine website (primarily focused on personal experimental aircraft, but general rotary information, including some good pics)
http://www.rotaryeng.net/

Last edited by HipToBeSquare; 08-26-2011 at 05:06 PM.
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Old 08-26-2011, 04:19 PM   #91
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i drove a number of FD's in stock and modified forms. i love the rotary engine. how many 1.3L piston engines can spool a GT35, and still have a 4K powerband? and yes, the FD is one of my favorite sports cars of all time. it's a big list, but it does make it.
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Old 08-26-2011, 05:37 PM   #92
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Yes, the RX8 is a great car to drive, but so are the S2000 and Miata that you mentioned, and they don't get gas mileage in the teens.
Actually the s2000's consumption isn't that much lower than the RX8. It's only a difference of about 2 MPG average. It does put down a little more power to the wheels though.


Quote:
Originally Posted by JuggernautTCW View Post
0, but just about every 2.5L+ piston engine can be made to make more than 238hp and scream to 9k rpm without rotary's level of oil and gasoline consumption...

the real question is, why should anyone care about an engine's size to power ratio when there is no real world practicality in this design like fuel economy to power and engine size ratio, low end torque below 2k rpm, reliability (talking about this particular 1.3L from mazda)...etc?
I would love to see you make an NA 2.5l with those specs that gets better mileage. Why should anyone care? How about packaging in a sportscar? Its exactly why the RX8 devastates in CS, which is filled with more powerful cars like the 350/ 370Z.

I used to bash the RX8 too...until I drove one in anger. Pure bliss in the corners that has only been matched in my experience by the s2000 and the cayman S. Both of which don't have a back seat.

Last edited by elirentz; 08-26-2011 at 05:44 PM.
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Old 08-26-2011, 06:06 PM   #93
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I used to bash the RX8 too...until I drove one in anger. Pure bliss in the corners that has only been matched in my experience by the s2000 and the cayman S. Both of which don't have a back seat.
Imagine if the RX8 didn't have to carry those back seats around...

I can only imagine a Mazda competitor to the Cayman R or Boxster Spyder (maybe even lighter), with similar specs.

Rotary amidships, backed by a PDK-like quick-shift, no-torque-drop gearbox, with Mazda's SLA front and rear suspension, rather than albeit quite good strut suspension.

If it can't be aft-mid engined, I would hope that maybe it could be a transaxle car like a Corvette, or Porsche 924/944. If the rotary engine used more aluminum in it's construction that might actually be a front-mid engined car with a rearward weight bias, due to the transaxle.

sounds like a all kinds of track-day and curvy back-road fun.
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Old 08-26-2011, 06:37 PM   #94
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the RX8 devastates in CS, which is filled with more powerful cars like the 350/ 370Z.
I was going to correct you and say B Stock, but apparently the SCCA has shaken things up and reclassified a lot of cars since I was last active…

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Old 08-26-2011, 07:23 PM   #95
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Actually the s2000's consumption isn't that much lower than the RX8. It's only a difference of about 2 MPG average. It does put down a little more power to the wheels though.
A 2 mpg difference is welcomed when we're talking about something gets mpg in the teens. If we were talking Priuses, then 2 mpg is insignificant in fuel savings.
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Old 08-26-2011, 08:04 PM   #96
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A 2 mpg difference is welcomed when we're talking about something gets mpg in the teens. If we were talking Priuses, then 2 mpg is insignificant in fuel savings.
18 vs. 20 mpg is still peanuts compared to depreciation, insurance, tires (especially V710s ), regular wear and tear… People make entirely too much of these relatively minute differences, and people driving newer model cars usually don't realize that depreciation is what's really killing them, not gas prices.
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Old 08-26-2011, 08:06 PM   #97
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A 2 mpg difference is welcomed when we're talking about something gets mpg in the teens. If we were talking Priuses, then 2 mpg is insignificant in fuel savings.
I realize its a 10% increase but I was just trying to note that the s2000 gets mileage in the teens too. Its also anemic at low rpms as well. Its also lighter.
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Old 08-26-2011, 10:29 PM   #98
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I think this comparison with the S2000 is technically very appropriate, but irrelevant to the future of the rotary. What I mean is, even if the rotary had the same power, torque, and fuel economy as the F20C, it still wouldn't have a viable future. We are comparing it to the form of piston engine that has become obsolete for the same reasons that will make the rotary obsolete.

Almost everyone is switching to DI turbo engines at this point. Next gen 3 series won't even have an NA I6 in the US market. And while that technology works well with piston engines at this point, we have no reason to believe that it will work equally well with the rotary, and it would be downright moronic to believe that part-time R&D by a small company like Mazda will bring the DI turbo technology for the rotary to the same level of maturity as that for the piston engines.

At the end, we will never really know if it would've been possible to develop rotary technology to a point where most of the "inherent" issues would be solved. That's not how history panned out, and the technological gap between rotary and piston engines is only broadening. It is inevitable that this will eventually lead to the death of rotary. If not now, then maybe ten years from now. But barring a major shift in paradigm, rotary will be dead sooner or later.
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Old 08-27-2011, 02:12 AM   #99
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Actually the s2000's consumption isn't that much lower than the RX8. It's only a difference of about 2 MPG average.
Uhm my S2000 generally gets 26 MPG in mixed driving. I've seen as high as 30 MPG with all highway driving. I don't care what the EPA numbers are the S2000 way exceeds them.
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Old 08-27-2011, 01:44 PM   #100
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Uhm my S2000 generally gets 26 MPG in mixed driving. I've seen as high as 30 MPG with all highway driving. I don't care what the EPA numbers are the S2000 way exceeds them.
I think the BMW 325i is the only other car(besides S2000/S2200) remotely similar to the RX-8 and it has a 2.5L i6. And the MPG is similar to the S2000. Plus 2.5L 6 vs 2.6L Rotary...

Although in 2003, when the RX-8 first came out the 325i only had 184BHP. So, straight line performance for the RX-8 is better than average IMHO .
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