A rotary engine has four separate compartments, and in each one, a specific job is performed: intake, compression, combustion (or ignition), or exhaust. On the other hand, the piston(s) in a reciprocating engine perform each of those four jobs within a single cylinder.
What makes a rotary engine different?
Like more conventional petrol engines, a rotary engine uses fuel ignited by a spark to produce power but, beyond that, it differs from a conventional car engine in many ways; most notably, how it takes the expanding gasses and heat of combustion and turns it into movement to push your car along.
Why rotary engines are better?
Simplicity: rotary engines can have as few as three main moving parts, versus more than 40+ for piston-cylinder based engines. Fewer moving parts typically leads to better reliability. No reciprocating mass: this allows rotary engines to rev high, and also run very smoothly.
How long do rotary engines last?
Just like any other engine, taking the time to care for it properly will make it last longer than usual, however, that could mean 80,000 miles or less.
How much HP can a rotary engine make?
For it’s size, the rotary packs a punch. For reference, the 13B from the RX8 is a 1.3 liter, and produces 232 horsepower. That equates to a ridiculous 178 horsepower per liter. In Theory, that would be equivalent to a 6.0 liter LS2 (from the Corvette) producing 1068 horsepower N/A from the factory.
Are rotary engines expensive to repair?
For that reason, they tend to be more expensive. However, there are a lot fewer parts to a rotary engine than to a piston engine. They are often easier to rebuild. For that reason, a full rotary engine rebuild will typically cost less than a rebuild on a piston engine.