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Engine revolution: Mazda’s rotary and its uncertain future
Conventional gas and diesel engines do a commendable job serving car and truck owners’ needs, but futurists insist that electric motors will eventually supplant them as the power source of choice. Some 50 years ago, a similar situation cropped up: Mazda’s ultrasmooth rotary engine had bright hopes of sending pistons the way of the buggy whip. With Mazda celebrating its 100th birthday this year, what better time to toast the brand’s most ambitious technical stride?
An RX-2 race car "idled" past me in the pits at Laguna Seca, many years ago. Even at idle the hideous splattering sound of a thousand chainsaws ripped the otherwise, modest sounds around the pits. I could not even imagine how loud that car would be under full power on the track...luckily for me and others, the car's track time came the next day, after I was in the comfort of my own home.