"Mad Mike" unveils world's first 5-rotor Wankel in wild drift car
Internal combustion engines have still got a few punches left in them. Case in point: Kiwi drifter "Mad Mike" Whiddett has unveiled "the wildest drift car I could think of," built around the world's first 5-rotor Wankel rotary engine.
Yes, the world is accelerating in its transition toward an electric future, and with good cause – but there's a certain hands-on, mechanical magic to the combustion engines that so many tuners have spent a lifetime understanding and sharpening. The noise, the smell, the heat and the inherent danger of all those tiny explosions will always stir the loins and tickle the adrenal glands of petrolheads around the world, especially when presented like this.
Red Bull-sponsored drift racer "Mad Mike" Whiddett is no stranger to Wankels. His RUMBUL, RADBUL, HUMBUL, BADBUL and MADBUL drift cars have all been Mazda-based rotaries – indeed, his NIMBUL Lamborghini is a notable odd man out. Among a long list of accolades, he holds the world records for fastest Mazda and fastest rotary at Pike's Peak, set earlier this year.
Most of them have been multi-turbo, quad-rotor monsters, including the Pike's Peak car, which made around 1,400 horsepower according to Carvibz.
The new "MADAZ 787D," though, takes things up a notch. It's named for the Mazda 787B, which won at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1991 and cemented its reputation as the greatest (not to mention last) Wankel rotary racecar ever to compete in top-level international racing. The Mazda isn't a mid-engined car like the 787B, though; it's much more like the MADBUL drift car, with its engine up front.
That engine is the 33b, developed in partnership with Kiwi Wankel specialists Pulse Performance Race Engineering (PPRE). It extends the typical Mazda quad rotor design with a fifth rotor, each displacing 654 cc for a total in this case of 3,270 cc. You can see this giant Wankel-burger being assembled in an Instagram video from a year and a half ago:
Whiddett is yet to release any power figures at this point, but one thing's clear: this car is designed to adhere to no rules whatsoever. Thus, rather than an efficient, somewhat quieter turbo, it's naturally aspirated, loud as all hell, and certainly not acceptable in polite company.
The car was unveiled at Whiddett's own event, MadMike's Summer Bash 6 in Waikato, NZ, on the weekend, and revved to high heaven before an enthusiastic crowd. There's no word as yet on when or where it'll be driven, and Red Bull isn't involved with this car; it's a personal project.
But check it out in the video below:
Source: "Mad Mike" Whiddett