Wankel + Automatic = Ideal Truck Drivetrain?

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
wankel automatic ideal truck drivetrain

You’d think that the zilch-o-torque characteristics of a Wankel engine wouldn’t be so great for hauling heavy loads, and you’d be right! Adding an automatic transmission to the mix, as is the case with this ’75 Mazda pickup, no doubt made for some interesting driving experiences when hauling, say, a dozen sacks of concrete mix in the back.

I can’t remember the last time I saw a Mazda rotary pickup on the street, but this one— which I spotted in a Denver self-service wrecking yard a couple days ago— survived long enough to stay out of The Crusher’s way until the second decade of the 21st century.

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  • Redshift Redshift on Jan 21, 2011

    I love REPU's. I would love to add one to the fleet, but this on is a bit far away I think. Very cool truck, and have a huge following amongst Rotary fans. I'm amazed this one got junked. There were two at the Deal's Gap Rotary Rally last year, and were crowd favorites. One of them was still original paint/unrestored.

  • Biskit Biskit on May 08, 2012

    I learned to drive in a '75 mazda B1600. That truck was absolutely indestructible. And, having a manual choke in hand was a great "feature". I always loved the sorta military look of the rear end.

  • Zipper69 How much of a bite of the market has the BRONCO taken?The "old technology" of the Cherokee can't compete...
  • JMII So this pretty much confirms the long standing rumor that the C8 platform was designed for hybrid AWD support. If this is even faster then the current Z06 it will be a true rocket ship. GM was already hinting that even more impressive C8 was coming, most assume a turbo ZR1 but an e-assist AWD package seems more like... and apparently it will be called E-Ray.
  • Tassos the announcement is unnecessarily verbose, aka full of it. Most 'justifications" for the shutdown are shameless lies.
  • Jwee I can post images...?????
  • Jwee @Bobby D'OppoThere is no element of the reported plan that involves taking people's carsSeems like you missed the Southpark reference:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tO5sxLapAtsMy comment was humor (or humour if you prefer). The city council is not literally taking people's cars, but seems like they wouldn't mind a drop in car ownership. More cyclists! Less pollution! More public transport! A £70 fine per violation! Surely if they came out and said "we are going to take your car", they would get a very stern letter written to them in the strongest language possible, or perhaps even called a bunch of rotters. I am all for good transport networks, but this is just a terrible plan. Visit Amsterdam, and study how to manage traffic skillfully in a dense, medieval city, with no traffic cameras whatsoever, with first rate public transport, where pedestrians, bikes, boats and cars coexist.