This image has been circulating the net for some time, so when it came across our desk we decided to do some research into exactly what this monstrous big block wankel engine was destined for.
Built by the now seemingly defunct "Rotary Power International" for low-RPM, high-torque applications, it is claimed to be substantially lighter than any equivalent piston engine of similar output.
Originally designed to power yachts and boats, this insane rotor is not only turbocharged, but it is also diesel. With configurations up to 6 rotors at your disposal, you can make up to a staggering 3000hp.
350-2 NG SPECS (2 rotor configuration)
Engine Size/cc: 11600 (11.6 L)
Size Cubic Inch: 700
Max HP: 750
Max HP Turbo: 1500
Max RPM 3600: 3600
Est. Weight Lbs: 1895
Engine Cooling: Liquid
Fuel: Gasoline, Diesel, Kerosene, JP5, JP8, Ethanol, Natural Gas and low grade Natural Gas, Bio Gas, Landfill Methane Gas, Propane.
Unfortunately, following the demise of RPI, it would appear this project has been terminated and details of this engine are limited only to a handful of marine magazines from the late '90s. Here is an extract from the press release by RPI:
"...take a basic two-rotor, 1,000hp, 1700-lb. 580 Series (it has 5.8 liters displacement per rotor) rotary diesel, add 800lb, for a reduction gear and accessories and voila: you have a reliable diesel engine weighing in at only 2.5 lb./hp.
"By comparison, a high-tech, modern reciprocating diesel in this power class typically weighs in 4 or more lb./hp and is some 2' longer than the rotary. This rotary engine is due to be introduced early next year when RPI and ARP plan to install three 1,000-hp engines in a fast ferry to be built on the West Coast"
The secret to its small size and relatively high power output is due to its 270 degree power stroke during each revolution. Something that sets the rotary engine apart from a regular piston engine.
"Instead of the two or four cycles needed to complete the sequence of the intake-compression-expansion-exhaust, the rotary completes all four events with a power pulse every revolution. It provides a 270-degree power stroke during each crankshaft revolution."
In case you were thinking about fitting it to your MX-5, even if you could find one available, expect to shell out in excess of $215,000 AUD for the 1,000hp version.
Above: We imagine the end result of fitting it to a car to not be too dissimilar to this.