Maybe this is already obvious to everyone, but I just heard that due to the economy and heavily financed new assemblers trying to get market share, that the pj market is flooded, and several of the biggies are about to start dumping. Maybe that will hold prices down, but it will probably also slow development.
When the rotary/wankel engine came out it was really cheap to build (like 2 movingparts) and very light (yea, I know it wasn't fuel efficient) but they priced it according to it's horsepower, not its cost. They just refused to sell the horsepower cheaper than what the market would bear.
"When the rotary/wankel engine came out it was really cheap to build (like 2 movingparts) and very light (yea, I know it wasn't fuel efficient) but they priced it according to it's horsepower, not its cost. They just refused to sell the horsepower cheaper than what the market would bear"
I don't think so - the development cost nearly broke Mazda - hundreds of prototypes and the never ending problems of rotor tip failure. The material science cost alone were awsome. Probably why Ford own a big chunk of them now. As for NSU the rotary engine broke the company, they never fully solved the problems before they went into production.
The rotary stayed in the RX-7 for many many years. They had some early seal problems, but I understood they fixed that with better materials. I read that what killed the engine was the reputation due to early seal failures, but mostly the high emmissions and low fuel economy, and probably the fact that the american public likes pistons in their hot rods. The engine felt really good to me though.
Emissions problems finally killed the rotary. That's been fixed in the new RX-8. They moved the exhaust ports to the side plates of the rotor housing. That eliminated the intake/exhause port overlap which killed horsepower and raised emissions. The new incarnation of the rotary now generates as much HP as the previous model without a turbo charger. Better fuel efficiency too.
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