It can spin up to 10,000 rpm and can produce up to 800 lb-ft of torque at 2,000 rpm.
May 02, 2023 in 9:59 p.m. ET
If you like video contents that come with the words Wankel, rotor, and rotary, Rob Dahm is probably one of the YouTubers you follow. The guy just loves his rotary engine, so much so that he made a four-rotor Wankel engine before and transplanted it into his Mazda RX-7, well, you guessed it.
While the all-wheel-drive SUV Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk trumps the RX-7 was already insane, first of all, Rob Dahm received something even more insane. We are talking about a 12-rotor Wankel engine, which was given to Dahm by a man named Tyson Garvin.
The engine displaces 15.7 liters but is enclosed in a Chevy V8-sized big block. It’s relatively compact in terms of physical size, thanks to the power plant’s Y configuration of three 4-rotor banks.
What’s more is that Garvin built this engine in-house. As someone in the video’s comment section just said, Garvin is the type of person who answers “Why not?” When someone asks “why?”
It’s worth noting that the 12-rotor Garvin engine is probably the largest number of rotors we’ve ever seen in a rotary engine. Dahm shows a 6-rotor example at the beginning of the video, while his 4-rotor run of the mill examples are Garvin and the Mazda 787B that won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1991.
A little history about this mill: Garvin really loves powerboats. According to him, the idea to make this monster of a power plant was born when he got tired of big-block Chevy V8s “breaking for the fun of it.”
While the teardown video above doesn’t really show the 12-rotor engine in action or even being mounted in a car (that’s for another episode), Garvin said his creation can speed up to 10,000 rpm and can produce up to 800 lb-ft. of torque at 2,000 rpm. Previous reports show it can produce up to 1,400 horsepower but it’s clear it can do more with race fuel and turbocharging. The question now: What would Rob Dahm do?
But if you’re really curious about how a Wankel 12-rotor sounded, here’s a video from nine years ago while it was tested on a dyno: