The Wankel Rotary Piston Engine

  • John Jewkes
  • David Sawers
  • Richard Stillerman


The Wankel is the first of many rotary piston designs to have challenged the dominance of the reciprocating piston engine for small power units. Compared with the reciprocating internal-combustion engine, it offers reduced size, weight, vibration, noise and production costs, combined with comparable thermal efficiency. Commercial production was started by N.S.U. Motorenwerke in Germany and Toyo Kogyo in Japan in 1967 as a petrol engine for cars; a joint N.S.U.-Citroën car will follow later. The engine is also suitable for industrial, marine or aeronautical uses, and there is much interest in possible diesel and multi-fuel versions. Sixteen European, American and Japanese companies held licences to build the engine by January 1968.


Petrol Engine Steam Engine Outer Casing Piston Engine Rotary Valve 
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  1. 1.
    Wankel, F., Rotary Piston Engines (Iliffe Books Ltd., 1965).Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Correspondence with Herr Felix Wankel.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Development of Rotary Combustion Engine (N.S.U. Motorenwerke A. G., 1965).Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Froede, Dr. Ing. W., ‘Recent Developments in the N.S.U. Wankel Engine’, Automobile Division, Institution of Mechanical Engineers (1966).Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Ansdale, R. F., ‘Rotary Combustion Engines’, Automobile Engineer (Dec. 1963; Jan. and Feb. 1964).Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Information supplied by N.S.U. Motorenwerke A.G.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© John Jewkes, David Sawers and Richard Stillerman 1969

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Jewkes
  • David Sawers
  • Richard Stillerman

There are no affiliations available

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