The Most Reliable Rotary Engine, Ranked

Choose the rotary engine you think is the most reliable!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Jul 9, 2024 07:21
When considering the purchase of a vehicle equipped with a rotary engine, potential buyers often find themselves sorting through a mix of facts, opinions, and anecdotes. A dependable engine not only provides peace of mind but also ensures fewer visits to the mechanic, which can save both time and money. Thus, having access to a well-curated list of reliable rotary engines can greatly assist in making an informed decision. This site offers a unique opportunity to contribute to and benefit from collective knowledge by allowing users to vote on the rotary engines they find most reliable. Each vote helps refine the accuracy of the rankings, making it easier for everyone to see which engines are performing best in the real world. So, whether you're an enthusiast or potential car buyer, your input is invaluable in shaping this important resource.

What Is the Most Reliable Rotary Engine?

  1. 1
    34
    points
    Mazda 13B-REW

    Mazda 13B-REW

    The 13B-REW is the most iconic and reliable rotary engine produced by Mazda, used in the RX-7 FD.
    • Introduced: 1992
    • Displacement: 1.3L
    • Power Output: Up to 280 PS
  2. 2
    29
    points
    Mazda 26B

    Mazda 26B

    A four-rotor engine developed for racing, most notably used in the 787B to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
    • Introduced: 1991
    • Displacement: 2.6L
    • Power Output: Up to 700 PS
  3. 3
    20
    points
    Mazda Renesis

    Mazda Renesis

    The Renesis is a later-generation rotary engine by Mazda, featured in the RX-8, notable for its improved fuel efficiency and emissions.
    • Introduced: 2003
    • Displacement: 1.3L
    • Power Output: Up to 238 PS
  4. 4
    16
    points
    Mazda 10A

    Mazda 10A

    The first rotary engine used in Mazda's lineup, featured in the Mazda Cosmo Sport, known for its pioneering design.
    • Introduced: 1967
    • Displacement: 982 cc
    • Power Output: Up to 110 PS
  5. 5
    13
    points
    Mazda 12A

    Mazda 12A

    The 12A is an earlier version of Mazda's rotary engine, known for its simplicity and reliability.
    • Introduced: 1970
    • Displacement: 1.1L
    • Power Output: Up to 135 PS
  6. 6
    12
    points
    Mazda 13G

    Mazda 13G

    A three-rotor racing engine developed by Mazda, not mass-produced but known for its high performance in motorsport.
    • Introduced: N/A
    • Displacement: N/A
    • Power Output: N/A
  7. 7
    5
    points
    Mazda 13B-MSP

    Mazda 13B-MSP

    An alternative name for the Renesis, emphasizing its Multi Side Port technology.
    • Introduced: 2003
    • Displacement: 1.3L
    • Power Output: Up to 238 PS
  8. 8
    3
    points
    Mazda 13B-T

    Mazda 13B-T

    A turbocharged version of the 13B, used in the second-generation RX-7, known for its robustness and tuning potential.
    • Introduced: 1986
    • Displacement: 1.3L
    • Power Output: Up to 185 PS
  9. 9
    0
    points
    Mazda 20B-REW

    Mazda 20B-REW

    The only mass-produced three-rotor engine from Mazda, used in the Eunos Cosmo. Known for its smooth power delivery.
    • Introduced: 1990
    • Displacement: 2.0L
    • Power Output: Up to 300 PS
  10. 10
    0
    points
    Mazda RX-792P

    Mazda RX-792P

    A racing engine based on the 13J, designed for the IMSA GTP series, showcasing Mazda's commitment to rotary performance.
    • Introduced: 1992
    • Displacement: N/A
    • Power Output: N/A

Missing your favorite rotary engine?

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About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most reliable rotary engine. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or Rotary is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!

Statistics

  • 3999 views
  • 132 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Movers & Shakers

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each Rotary once every 24 hours. The rank of each Rotary is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

Additional Information

More about the Most Reliable Rotary Engine

Mazda 13B-REW
Rank #1 for the most reliable rotary engine: Mazda 13B-REW (Source)
Rotary engines, also known as Wankel engines, have a unique design. Unlike traditional piston engines, rotary engines use a triangular rotor. This rotor moves in an epitrochoidal path within a chamber. This design allows for smooth power delivery and high-revving capabilities.

The development of rotary engines began in the early 20th century. Engineers sought alternatives to the conventional piston engine. The rotary engine offered a compact size and fewer moving parts. These features promised less vibration and higher efficiency.

During their early years, rotary engines faced many challenges. Issues with sealing and heat dissipation were common. Engineers worked tirelessly to solve these problems. Over time, they made significant improvements. Better materials and advanced manufacturing techniques helped enhance reliability.

One crucial aspect of rotary engines is their simplicity. They have fewer parts compared to piston engines. This simplicity reduces the chances of mechanical failure. The absence of valves, camshafts, and timing belts means fewer components can break. This simplicity extends to maintenance. Rotary engines are easier to service and repair.

Another key factor is the engine's smooth operation. The rotary engine's design ensures continuous power delivery. There are no abrupt changes in direction like in piston engines. This smoothness results in less wear and tear on the engine. Consequently, rotary engines can have a longer lifespan.

Cooling is vital for rotary engines. Engineers have developed efficient cooling systems to manage heat. Proper cooling prevents overheating and extends engine life. Modern rotary engines use advanced cooling techniques. These include water and oil cooling systems. Effective cooling contributes to the engine's reliability.

Rotary engines also benefit from advancements in materials. Early engines used materials that wore out quickly. Modern engines use durable materials that withstand high temperatures and pressures. These materials include advanced alloys and ceramics. They help improve engine longevity and performance.

Fuel and lubrication systems have also evolved. Early rotary engines had issues with fuel consumption and lubrication. Modern engines use precise fuel injection systems. These systems improve fuel efficiency and reduce emissions. Lubrication systems have also improved. They ensure the engine receives adequate lubrication at all times. This reduces wear and extends the engine's life.

Engine tuning and optimization play a role in reliability. Engineers fine-tune rotary engines for optimal performance. This includes adjusting the air-fuel mixture and ignition timing. Proper tuning ensures the engine runs smoothly and efficiently. It also reduces the risk of engine damage.

Regular maintenance is essential for rotary engines. Owners must follow recommended service intervals. This includes oil changes, coolant checks, and spark plug replacements. Proper maintenance helps keep the engine in good condition. It prevents minor issues from becoming major problems.

In conclusion, rotary engines have come a long way since their inception. Advances in materials, cooling, and fuel systems have improved their reliability. Their simplicity and smooth operation contribute to their longevity. With proper maintenance, rotary engines can offer many years of dependable service.

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