Insane 12-Rotor Wankel Engine - Engine Builder Magazine
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Insane 12-Rotor Wankel Engine

This 12-rotor Wankel engine built by Tyson Garvin has three times the number of rotors found in Mazda’s Le Mans-winning 787B.


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How many rotors is too many rotors? If you’re Tyson Garvin, the number is somewhere north of 12. Garvin is an endurance powerboat racer who has twice set the record for the run from New York City to Bermuda, and he’s built one of the craziest engines ever seen.

It’s a 12-rotor Wankel, which, for reference, is three times the number of rotors found in Mazda’s Le Mans-winning 787B. The engine consists of three banks of four rotors each.

The banks are arranged in a Y configuration and are kept in sync with each other by a set of gears. It displaces a massive 15.7 liters, but externally, it’s about the same size as your average big-block V8. The engine weighs in at 830-lb. Despite all noise and fury, the engine runs so smoothly that it doesn’t even ripple the glasses of water placed on it towards the end of the video. Garvin says it produces around 1400 hp in its current state of tune, but that number could triple with race gas and turbochargers.

Engine Builder Magazine