The powerful 13B engine made its debut in 1974 with the advent of the RX-4 in the form it was imported into to the US. The 13B broadened its availability when it appeared in the RX-5 Cosmo in 1976. That year ports were shrunk for better fuel economy. When both lines were discontinued in 1978, the engine went into hibernation until 1984 when it appeared in the RX-7 GSL-SE. A version with the 12A had been available in 1972 and 1973 in places like Australia.
Eunos Cosmo, the pinnacle of Rotary Technology. Mazda simply did not compromise when designing what is arguably the ultimate vehicle in Mazda's automotive history.
With its legendary 3-Rotor engine, the Cosmo was designed with the sporting affluent in mind, & to exceed all there expectations. BMW, Jaguar, Volvo & Mercedes luxury coupes were Mazda's competitors, and when released onto the Japanese market in 1989 the Cosmo easily outshined the best of them with styling years ahead of its time.
The all new Mazda RX-7 was powered by a modified version of the Type 12A engine placed at the very back of the engine compartment known as the front mid-engine layout. Generating 130ps, the engine provided the aerodynamic RX-7 with an astounding level of vehicle dynamics, fulfilling it briefly as the ultimate pursuance in sports car driving.
The second generation (the "FC", whose VIN begins JM1FC3) featured a complete restyling. It had two series, from 1986-1988 (series 4) and 1989-1991 (series 5). The S4 came with a naturally aspirated (N/A) fuel-injected 13B makeing 146 horsepower. In 1987 a turbocharged model was introduced (the Turbo II) making 189 hp. The S5 cars featured updated styling and better engine management, as well as lighter rotors and higher compression. The N/A S5 FC made 160hp, while the S5 TII made 200 hp.
The third and final generation dispensed with the rear seats except in Japan, and featured an aerodynamic, futuristic-looking body design. The first-ever mass-produced sequential twin turbo system boosted power to 255hp and finally 276hp by the time production ended in Japan, in 2002. The car is known as the "FD". The FD RX-7 is a pure sports car, and borders on supercar. In the US, three models were offered; the "base", the touring, and the R models. The touring FDs had sunroofs and bose stereo systems. The R (R1 in 1993 and R2 in 1994-5) had stiffer suspensions and an optional aerodynamics package, as well as Z-rated tires. Handling was absolutely outstanding in the FD, and it is still regarded as being one of the best-handling cars of all time. Acceleration was no less impressive. In fact, the 1993 RX-7 R1 bested the NSX in every performance category.
A new design of the RX-EVOLV, painted red and featuring a louvered hood was unveiled at the 2001 North American International Auto Show. The new design also had a new name, the Mazda RX-8. The further refined rotary motor also had a new name, the "RENESIS."
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All Mazda Wankel "rotary" engines are essentially a single family they all derive from the first Wankel experiments in the early 1960s. Over the years, displacement has been increased, and turbocharging has been added to great effect. This is the engine family that made Mazda famous.
Mazda's first prototype Wankel was the 40A, a single-rotor engine very much like the NSU KKM400. Although never produced in volume, the 40A was a valuable testbed for Mazda engineers, and quickly demonstrated two serious challenges to the feasibility of the design: "chatter marks" in the housing, and heavy oil consumption. The chatter marks, nicknamed "devil's fingernails", were caused by improper sealing at the apex of the rotor. The oil consumption problem was addressed with heat-resistant rubber oil seals at the sides of the rotors. This early engine had a rotor diameter of 90 mm (3.5 in), an offset of 14 mm (0.6 in), and a depth of 59 mm (2.3 in).
The very first Mazda Cosmo prototype used a 798 cc L8A two-rotor Wankel. The engine and car were both shown at the 1963 Tokyo Motor Show. Hollow cast iron apex seals reduced vibration and thus chatter marks. It used dry-sump lubrication. Rotor diameter was up from the 40A to 98 mm (3.9 in), but depth dropped to 56 mm (2.2 in).
One-, three-, and four-rotor derivatives of the L8A were also created for experimentation.
The 10A series was Mazda's first production Wankel, appearing in 1965. It was a two-rotor design, with each displacing 491 cc for a total of 982 cc. These engine featured the mainstream rotor dimensions with a 60 mm (2.4 in) depth.
The rotor housing was made of sand-cast aluminum plated with chrome, while the aluminum sides were sprayed with molten carbon steel for strength. Cast iron was used for the rotors themselves, and their eccentric shafts were of expensive chrome-molybdenum steel. The addition of aluminum/carbon apex seals addressed the chatter mark problem.
The first 10A engine was the 0810, used in the Series I Cosmo from May, 1965 through July, 1968. These cars, and their revolutionary engine, were often called L10A models. Gross output was 110 hp (82 kW) at 7000 RPM and 130 Nm (96 ft.lbf) at 3500 RPM, but both numbers were probably optimistic.
The 10A featured twin side intake ports per rotor, each fed by a one of four carburetor barrels. Only one port per rotor was used under low loads for added fuel economy. A single peripheral exhaust port routed hot gas through the coolest parts of the housing, and engine coolant flowed axially rather than the radial flow used by NSU. A bit of oil was mixed with the intake charge for lubrication.
The 0810 was modified for the racing Cosmos used at Nürburgring. These engines had both side- and peripheral-located intake ports switched with a butterfly valve for low- and high-RPM use (respectively)
1965-1968 Mazda Cosmo Series I/L10A
The improved 0813 engine appeared in July, 1968 in the Series II/L10B Cosmo. Its construction was very similar to the 0810, but the ports and carburetion were revised to produce 130 hp (96 kW) at 7000 RPM and 140 Nm (103 ft.lbf) at 5000 RPM. Again, these were Japanese net output figures.
1968-1972 Mazda Cosmo Series II/L10B
The 10A was substantially revised for wide-scale production in the R100/Familia Rotary. Many changes were made in an effort to reduce production costs. These included the use of cast iron in the housing sides, less-expensive molded (instead of sand-cast) aluminum for the housings, and chrome-steel for the eccentric shafts. The port arrangement remained the same, but exhaust was no longer routed around the housing.
Japanese-spec gross output was 100 hp (75 kW) at 7000 RPM and 98 ft.lbf (133 Nm) at 3500 RPM. The use of less-expensive components raised the weight of the engine from 224 lb (102 kg) to 268 lb (122 kg).
1968-1973 Mazda R100/Familia Rotary
The final member of the 10A family was the 1971 0866. This variant featured a cast-iron thermal reactor to reduce exhaust emissions and re-tuned exhaust ports. The die-cast rotor housing was now coated with a new process: The new Transplant Coating Process (TCP) featured sprayed-on steel which is then coated with chrome. Gross output was 105 hp (78 kW) at 7000 RPM and 135 Nm (99.5 ft.lbf) at 3500 RPM.
1972-1974 Mazda RX-3 (Japan-spec)
The 13A was designed especially for front wheel drive applications. It had two 655 cc rotors for a total of 1310 cc. This was the only production Mazda Wankel with different rotor dimensions: Diameter was 120 mm (4.7 in) and offset was 17.5 mm (0.7 in), but depth remained the same as the 10A at 60 mm (2.4 in). Another major difference from the previous engines was the integrated water-cooled oil cooler.
The 13A was used only in the 1969-1972 R130 Luce, where it produced 126 hp (94 kW) and 126 ft.lbf (172 Nm). This was the end of the line for this engine design: The next Luce was rear wheel drive and Mazda never again made a front wheel drive rotary vehicle.
1970-1972 Mazda R130
The 12A was a "bored-out" version of the 10A - the rotor diameter was the same, but the depth was increased by 10 mm (0.4 in) to 70 mm (2.8 in). Each of its two rotors displaced 573 cc for a total of 1146 cc. The 12A series was produced for 15 years, from May 1970 through 1985. In 1974, a 12A became the first engine built outside of western Europe or the U.S to finish the 24 hours of Le Mans.
In 1974, a new process was used to harden the rotor housing. The Sheet-metal Insert Process (SIP) used a sheet of steel much like a conventional piston engine cylinder liner with a chrome plated surface. The side housing coating was also changed to eliminate the troublesome sprayed metal. The new "REST" process created such a strong housing, the old carbon seals could be abandoned in favor of conventional cast iron.
Early 12A engines also feature a thermal reactor, similar to the 0866 10A, and some use an exhaust port insert to reduce exhaust noise. A lean-burn version was introduced in 1979 (in Japan) and 1980 (in America) which substituted a more-conventional catalytic converter for this "afterburner". A major modification of the 12A architecture was the 6PI which featured variable induction ports.
1970-1972 Mazda R100
1970-1974 Mazda RX-2, 130 hp (97 kW) and 115 ft.lbf (156 Nm)
1972-1974 Mazda RX-3 (Japan), 110 hp (82 kW) and 100 ft.lbf (135 Nm)
1972-1974 Mazda RX-4
1972-1980 Mazda Luce
1978-1979 Mazda RX-7, 100 hp (75 kW)
1979-1985 Mazda RX-7 (Japan)
1980-1985 Mazda RX-7 (USA)
1981-1985 Mazda Luce
1981-1985 Mazda Cosmo
The ultimate 12A engine was the turbocharged and fuel injected engine used in the Japan-spec HB series Cosmo, Luce, and SA series RX-7. In 1982 a 12A turbo powered Cosmo coupe was officially the fastest production car in Japan. It featured "semi-direct injection" into both rotors at once, a technique that was much more successful than it would appear. A passive knock sensor was used to eliminate detonation, and later models featured a specially-designed "impact turbo" which was tweaked for the unique exhaust signature of the Wankel engine. The engine continued until 1989 in the HB Cosmo series but by that stage it had grown a reputation as a thirsty engine.
Output was 165 hp (123 kW) at 6000 RPM and 186 Nm (137 ft.lbf) at 4000 RPM.
1982-1989 Mazda Cosmo
1982-1985 Mazda Luce
1984-1985 Mazda RX-7
The improved 12B was quietly introduced in 1974. In the US it was the start of the single distributors engines.
NOTE: the previous 12A & 10A engines used the twin distributors.
1974-1978 Mazda RX-2
1974-1978 Mazda RX-3
The 13B is the most widely produced engine. It was the basis for all future Mazda Wankel engines, and was produced for almost 30 years. The 13B is no relation to the 13A. Instead, it is a lengthened version of the 12A, having 80 mm (3.1 in) thick rotors. It had the largest displacement yet at 654 cc, for a total of 1308 cc.
In the United States, the 13B was available from 1974 through 1978 and was then retired until the 1984 RX-7 GSL-SE. It disappeared from the US market again in 1995, when the last US-spec RX-7s were sold. The engine was continually used in Japan from 1972's Mazda Luce/RX-4 through 2002's RX-7.
The 13B was designed with both high performance and low emissions in mind. Early vehicles using this engine used the AP name, which signified these two characteristics..
1972-1980 Mazda Cosmo AP
1974-1977 Mazda Rotary Pickup
1975-1977 Mazda Roadpacer
1974-1978 Mazda RX-4
A tuned intake manifold was used in a Wankel engine for the first time with the 13B-RESI ("Rotary Engine Super Injection"). The so-called Dynamic Effect Intake featured a two-level intake box which derived a supercharger-like effect from the Helmholtz resonance of the opening and closing intake ports. The RESI engine also featured Bosch L-Jetronic fuel injection. Output was much improved at 135 hp (101 kW) and 133 ft·lbf (180 N·m).
1984-1985 Mazda HB Luce
1984-1985 Mazda HB Cosmo
1984-1985 Mazda FB RX-7 GSL-SE
Like the 12A-SIP, the second-generation RX-7 bowed with a variable-intake system. Dubbed DEI, the engine features both the 6PI and DEI systems, as well as four-injector electronic fuel injection. Total output is up to 146 hp (109 kW) at 6500 rpm and 138 ft·lbf (187 N·m) at 3500 rpm.
1986-1988 Mazda RX-7, 146 hp (108 kW)
1989-1991 Mazda RX-7, 160 hp (119 kW)
The 13B-DEI was turbocharged in 1987. It features the newer four-injector fuel injection of the 6PI engine, but lacks that engine's eponymous variable intake system. The twin-scroll turbocharger is fed with a two-stage valve to reduce turbo lag. Output is way up at 185 hp (138 kW) at 6500 rpm and 183 ft·lbf (248 N·m) at 3500 rpm.
1986-1991 Mazda HC Luce Turbo-II, 185 hp (138 kW)
1987-1988 Mazda FC RX-7 Turbo-II, 185 hp (138 kW)
1989-1991 Mazda FC RX-7 Turbo-II, 200 hp (147 kW)
A twin-turbocharged version of the 13B, the 13B-REW, became famous for its high output and low weight. The twin Hitachi HT-12 turbos were operated sequentially, with the primary providing boost until 4,500 RPM, and the secondary coming online afterwards. Output eventually reached, and may have exceeded, Japan's "maximum" of 280 DIN hp (208 kW) for the final revision used in the series 8 Mazda RX-7.
1990-1995 Eunos Cosmo, 235 hp (176 kW)
1992-1995 Mazda RX-7, 255 hp (190 kW)
1996-1998 Mazda RX-7, 265 hp (197 kW)
1999-2002 Mazda RX-7, 280 hp (208 kW)
In Le Mans racing, the first three-rotor engine used in the 757 was named the 13G.
The main difference between the 13G and 20B is that the 13G uses a factory peripheral intake port(used for racing) and the 20B uses side intake ports.
It was renamed 20B after Mazda's naming convention for the 767 in November of 1987.
The three-rotor 20B-REW was only used in the 1990-1995 Eunos Cosmo. It was the world's first volume production twin-turbo setup featured in both 13B-REW & 20B-REW form. It displaced 1962 cc (three 654 cc rotors) and used 0.7 bar (around 10psi)of turbo pressure to produce 300 hp (224 kW) and 300 ft.lbf (402 Nm). It was at the time the highest torque output engine of any Japanese vehicle manufacturer.
The first Mazda four-rotor engine was the 26J used in the 1988 767 Le Mans prototypes. This motor was poorly designed, and was replaced by the 26B.
The most prominent 4-rotor engine from Mazda was used exclusively for various Mazda-built GT cars (including the 767 and 787B) in replacement of the older 13J. In 1991 this engine in a 787B became the first from outside the U.S. or Western Europe and the first (and so far only) car with a rotary engine to win outright the 24 hours of Le Mans race. It displaced 2622 cc and built 700 hp (522 kW) at 9000RPM. The engine design originates as a single 13B with: an additional rotor and housing added at each end, continually variable geometry intakes, and an additional (third) spark plug. The R26B's rotor housing can be purchased at retail from Mazdaspeed, but no internal parts are available to the general public.
The RENESIS engine - also 13B-MSP, for Multi Side Port - which first appeared in production in the 2003 Mazda RX-8, is an evolution of the previous 13B. It was designed to reduce exhaust emission and improve fuel economy, which were two of the most recurrent drawbacks of rotary engines. Unlike its predecessors from the 13B range, it is naturally aspirated, leading to lower power from its two versions (212 and 232hp) compared to the Mazda RX-7's twin-turbocharged 13B-REW (280hp).
The engine entailed two major changes. First, the exhausts ports are no longer peripheral but are located on the side of the housing, which allowed engineers to eliminate overlap and redesign the intake port area. This produced noticeably more power, thanks to a better compression ratio. Second, the rotors are shaped differently, especially their side seals and low-height apex seals, which offer optimized lubrication.
These and other innovative technologies allow the RENESIS to achieve 49% higher output and dramatically reduced fuel consumption and emissions (the RX-8 meets LEV-II). It won International Engine of the Year and Best New Engine awards 2003 and also holds the "2.5 to 3 liter" size award for 2003 and 2004, where it is considered a 2.60 L engine. Finally, it was on the Ward's 10 Best Engines list for 2004 and 2005.
The RENESIS has also been adapted for a dual-fuel use, allowing it to run either on gasoline or hydrogen.
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