Mazda’s Confusing Plan to Resurrect the Famously Dirty Rotary Engine

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The Wankel rotary engine is a wonderfully visceral thing. It clatters and sings and produces an absurd amount of power for its size. But it’s also archaic, in the way old cars often are, which makes it odd to think Mazda wants to bring it back. Rotaries are what made Mazda, in cars like the 1968 Sports Cosmo. The sleek two-seater I drove at Mazda’s top-secret Mine test track smelled of gasoline and weathered leather and wood. The houndstooth interior only added to the vintage vibe. No power steering, sticky…

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