When you think about an engine, you probably automatically think of a prison engine. After all, pistons have been used for decades. There’s even a professional sporting team named after the part. But it is not the only option. In fact, Mazda uses what is known as a Rotary Engine. Now, a rotary engine works in a similar manor to a piston engine, but there are some major differences to think about. Mazda is not the only car company that uses rotary engines, but it is one of the few. Just one other thing to consider when looking at new vehicles and what is under the hood.
Piston vs. Rotary Engine
So what is the real difference between a piston and Mazda rotary engine? With a piston engine, the pressure produced by a combination of air and fuel forces the pistons to move back and forth (you’ve probably seen videos of the pistons popping up and down on the engine block). This motion helps power the vehicle. With the Mazda rotary engine though, the pressure produced from air and fuel is produced through a house seal. The pressure allows the triangular shaped rotor to maintain three peaks with the engine housing. This creates three individual chambers of gasoline for the engine. So, instead of having a single stream of fuel used to power the engine, there are three. So, based on the power needs, the vehicle can draw on a singular peak of fuel or three peaks of the air and fuel combination.
Continual Mazda Rotary Engine
The Mazda rotary engine has been around since the late 1970s in the form of the RX-7. Now, while the RX-7 has not been sold within the United States in 20 years, it is believed the vehicle will make a return to the US in the near future. With it, the Mazda rotary engine would return back to the country as well. So, for those interested in stepping behind the wheel of a Mazda rotary engine vehicle, it might just be right around the corner and ready for a test drive at a local dealership.