I’ve always wondered by rotary engines were bigger in karting, as they can rev so high. I’ve owned a Doritos powered car (RX-7) and I loved everything about that thing (except for the gas mileage).
For a minute several years ago, the Wankel-rotary Aixro XR-50 kart was fairly well-known, though never really saw any official racing. It was a beast though, and could out-pace almost any other sprint kart engine.
Here’s a topic from a couple years ago on the pros and cons of the engine.
It just dawned on me why the sound of 2 strokes hit a particular cord with me. Couldn’t place it until I saw this video.
They really do lend themselves to karting. Compact, light and powerful. The Aixro never really seemed to have a cohesive marketing effort in the US, or a ruleset. Rather it was an engine (A great one) introduced vs a class. In a sense, being so different from reciprocating engines I suspect there was some fear of the unknown for engine builders and organizers alike.
They are still run in outlaw karts, some of them tuned even more, running on methanol… claims of 70HP
@Alan_Dove1 tried one out a few years ago
by few you mean 15… eeek
How would they be classified? Displacement (how)? Maintenance probably isn’t going to be as straightforward as, say, a top end on a 2s, & parts costs don’t sweeten the deal. There are reasons why certain things are “exotic”.
I was looking at buying the Aixro for road racing. Light, powerful, low maint. But it’s design depends on splash lubrication, so it’s only good for sprint.
I think a version with an oil pump would be a blast.