Not only has history been made, but rules have been rewritten following the debut of the first British made sports car successfully powered by a single rotor rotary engine.
Millbrook Proving Ground was the setting for a dynamic ride and drive test of a ground-breaking low carbon rotary engine integrated within a popular British open-top Westfield Sportscar.
The 120bhp rotary engine developed by world-class rotary specialists Advanced Innovative Engineering UK Ltd couldn’t help but turn heads as the unmistakable sound of the rotary exhaust rumbled across the course, delivering exceptional performance as it was put to its paces around the ride and drive test track during the Cenex LCV2016 event.
The historic moment is a result of a Niche Vehicle Network collaborative project to develop a high performance low carbon vehicle; utilising an AIE rotary engine designed to improve fuel efficiency and environmental performance of the vehicle, whilst delivering optimal power with reduced emissions.
Although generally viewed as an unlikely fuel-efficient option considering the history of the rotary engine, AIE (UK) Ltd defied critics by showcasing the rule changing capabilities of the latest 650S rotary engine that utilises patented technology including Self-Pressurising-Air Rotor Cooling System.
This innovative cooling concept invented by Norton Rotary Engine specialist David Garside rectifies previous drawbacks of the engine, providing superior heat rejection and efficient thermal balancing to reduce wear, increase efficiency and deliver unrivalled performance above other oil and air-cooled rotary engines.
Commenting at this notable event, AIE Managing Director, Nathan Bailey said, “It was definitely a milestone moment to watch our 650S make history as the first single rotor engine to power a British sports car around the track.
“AIE has once again proven that through advanced technology and precision engineering, rotary engines can deliver innovative solutions as lightweight, efficient powertrains within the automotive industry.”
With this new high performance rotary engine occupying less than 50% of the engine area volume and boasting a 50% reduction in overall weight from a standard four-cylinder engine, the 650S lends itself perfectly to the weight reduction and low emission requirements of the automotive industry whilst still delivering an impressive 120bhp performance using less fuel.
Although further test runs will be conducted in an effort to further improve efficiencies, the extremely high interest and attention towards this new rotary powered sports car will play a large role in the future of next generation rotary engines and the reigniting of a once coveted dream technology to its former glory.