So this photo has been knocking around the web for some time now, so I decided to look into the monstrous big block Wankel engine.
The engine designed and built by the now-defunct “Rotary Power International” for low RPM, high torque applications, it is claimed to be substantially lighter than an equivalent piston engine of similar power.
It was first designed to power boats and a few superyachts, the insane rotor engine is not only turbocharged, but it also runs on diesel. With configurations up to 6 rotors at your disposal, you can pump out a staggering 3000hp.
350-2 NG SPECS (2 rotor configuration):
Engine Size/cc: 11600 (11.6 L)
Size Cubic Inch: 700
Max HP: 750
Max HP Turbo: 1500
Max RPM 3600: 3600
Est. Weight Lbs: 1895
Engine Cooling: Liquid
Fuel: Gasoline, Diesel, Kerosene, JP5, JP8, Ethanol, Natural Gas and low grade Natural Gas, Bio Gas, Landfill Methane Gas, Propane.
Unfortunately, with the demise of RPI, it would appear this engine project was terminated and details of this engine are limited only to a handful of marine magazines from the late 90’s. The extract statement from the press release by RPI is:
“..take a basic two-rotor, 1,000hp, 1700-lb. 580 Series (it has 5.8 liters displacement per rotor) rotary diesel, add 800lb, for a reduction gear and accessories and voila: you have a reliable diesel engine weighing in at only 2.5 lb./hp. By comparison, a high-tech, modern reciprocating diesel in this power class typically weighs in 4 or more lb./hp and is some 2′ longer than the rotary. This rotary engine is due to be introduced early next year when RPI and ARP plan to install three 1,000-hp engines in a fast ferry to be built on the West Coast”
The secret to its small size and high power output is due to its 270-degree power stroke during each revolution. Which is what sets the rotary engine apart from a regular piston engine. “Instead of the two or four cycles needed to complete the sequence of the intake-compression-expansion-exhaust, the rotary completes all four events with a power pulse every revolution. It provides a 270-degree power stroke during each crankshaft revolution.”
Now all I waiting for is one of these monsters to appear in a Corsa C, I imagine it would look a lot like the one above.