Mazda was not the first manufacturer to mass produce a car powered by a rotary engine. That title was won by Germany’s NSU Wankel Spider of 1964, and it wasn’t long before the mainstream carmakers such as Citroën, Daimler-Benz, Alfa-Romeo and Mazda joined the rotary bandwagon.
However, the initial designs were unreliable and there was a general lack of understanding on how to maintain the engines. Combined with the other disadvantages of rotaries, such as the higher fuel-consumption, poor seals and incomplete combustion problems, most manufacturers ending up abandoning the design.
Today, only Mazda offers a rotary powered car in the form of its RX-8 four-door coupe and we hope to see the unique engines powering its next generation of RX models.