AutoGuide News Blog
The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
Pistons need not apply
The history of the automobile has been dominated by vehicles equipped with piston-firing engines.
Rarely does something completely different come along, and when it does, it usually fails miserably. One attempt to reinvent the passenger vehicle engine may have not had the smoothest of rides, but did last in the automotive industry for over 50 years and is rumored to be making a comeback soon.
We are talking about the Rotary engine. Lacking pistons, spinning furiously and making a noise that can’t be mistaken for anything else; the Rotary has developed a cult-like following over the decades. And why not? Some rotary powered vehicles may have been utter failures, but others were masterpieces of their time. Here is a list of our top ten rotary powered vehicles.
The famous 1991 24-Hours of Le Mans winner, the Mazda 787B will be featured at this weekend’s Goodwood Festival of Speed. Ex-Formula 1 driver and Le Mans veteran Mike Wilds and current Mazda works driver Mark Ticehurst will be racing the 787B up the hallowed Goodwood hill for the festival this weekend. The race car returns to mark the 20th anniversary of its famous victory in the demanding 24-Hours of Le Mans.
The 787B will race brands like Aston Martin, Porsche, Lotus and BMW in this year’s Britcar Dunlop Production GTN Championship.
Mazda’s 787B made history in 1991 at the 24 Hours of Le Mans by becoming the first Japanese car to win the event. It’s victory lap was also its last as after 1991, rotary engines could not participate in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Mazda is still the only Japanese car manufacturer to win Le Mans.
The 787B is powered by a 700-hp rotary engine which has a top speed of 210mph.
The 787B will also join the MX-5 GT race car which is powered by a 275-hp 2.0-liter naturally-aspirated engine featuring a six-speed sequential paddle-shift gearbox, carbonfibre doors and polycarbonate windows. The car has a kerb weight of just 850kg and can accelerate from 0-60mph in just three seconds.
Gallery: Mazda 787B
Marking the 20th anniversary of Mazda‘s victory in the world’s most demanding endurance race, the 24 Hour of Le Mans, Mazda has brought the winning Mazda 787B back from the dead.
Mazda’s 787B made history in 1991 at the 24 Hours of Le Mans by becoming the first Japanese car to win the event. It’s victory lap was also its last as after 1991, rotary engines could not participate in the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Jonny Herbert, who was behind the wheel 20 years ago, donned his nomex and racing helmet once again to hit the track. Mazda racer and TV star Patrick Dempsey also got a chance behind the wheel. Watch videos of the outing, plus an overview video of the 787B car’s 20th anniversary celebration after the jump!