World’s First Five-Rotor Car Looks Like Le Mans, Screams Like A Banshee
“Mad” Mike Whiddett is a professional drifting competitor with a passion for rotary engines. Beyond just tuning Mazda’s factory offerings, he also builds his own, and his latest creation is possibly the most wild. Whiddett created the world’s first five-rotor powerplant and commissioned a fantastic vehicle to fit around it called the 787D.
To put a five-rotor mill into perspective, a Wankel engine has a roughly triangle-shaped rotor spinning around an eccentric shaft, and each of the three sides goes through the intake, compression, ignition, and exhaust phases of the combustion process during the rotation. Most road-going Mazda models used two-rotor engines, and the Le-Mans-winning 787B had a four-rotor mill.
“Mad” Mike took things a step further with his five-rotor engine. The engine reportedly displaces 3.3 liters, according to Carvibz. Unfortunately, no details about the power output are available, but we’ve reached out to Whiddett for more details. The video above confirms the powerplant sounds like an absolute monster. The exhaust exits just behind the front tire, meaning there’s a very short run from those spinning rotors to spit out the combustion gases.
The Japanese tuner Rocket Bunny is responsible for the wild body, allegedly based on the fourth-generation (FD) Mazda RX-7. The tube chassis and radically altered engine suggest there’s not much left from the original sports car, though.
Whiddett premiered the 787D at Mad Mike’s Summer Bash 6 on December 2 in New Zealand. He plans to use it for drifting, but there are no videos showing the ludicrous machine sliding around yet. We look forward to seeing how well “Mad” Mike can kick out the tail and make this beast howl.
If you want your own 787D, you can, but don’t expect to drive it. Hot Wheels released a tiny version in 2023 that can fit into the palm of your hand.
It’s worth noting that another builder created an even larger 12-rotor engine by arranging a trio of four-rotor setups in a triangular layout. However, there’s no evidence of this powerplant going into an actual vehicle, unlike Whiddett’s mill.