The World’s First Five-Rotor Engine Makes A Hellish Noise

Mad Mike’s latest project is the ‘787D’ - a 787B tribute with a unique engine and an exhaust note to die for
Mad Mike's '787D'
Mad Mike's '787D'

There seem to be two things pro drifter ‘Mad Mike’ Whiddett loves above all else - going sideways, and rotary engines. He frequently brings these two passions together in projects like a four-rotor-powered Mazda3 and a similarly propelled ND MX-5 a few years before that, but his latest build is by far the best yet.

It’s called the ‘787D’, in reference to Mazda’s Le Mans-winning 787B sports car, but unlike the other builds we’ve mentioned, this one’s a ground-up affair. Mad Mike colluded with Kei Miura of Rocket Bunny fame for the body, which looks rather like an endurance racer of yesteryear, but a little smaller. Under the body is a bespoke tubular steel space frame.

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New Zealand-based Pulse Performance Rae Engineering (PPRE), probably the world’s leading authority on doing extremely cool things with rotary engines, cooked up a monstrous five-rotor engine to propel the car. It’s believed to be the first ever Wankel of that configuration, although there are engines out there that stack together more rotors - the modularity of these things means you can in theory line up as many ‘Doritos’ as you want.

Although at first glance the 787D has a mid-engined silhouette, from what we can make out, the engine is shoved in the front. We’re merely going by what we can see, as technical details are thin on the ground, but Mike has promised to post a deep dive at a later date. For now, we can at least year the thing revving, and my word, does it sound lovely. And quite scary.

Mad Mike's '787D'
Mad Mike's '787D'

Mike refers to it as the “wildest drift car I could think of,” a description the beast will surely live up to once it’s ready to throw some tyre-shredding shapes. And if you like the look of it, there’s already a Hot Wheels version of the car, out and ready for purchase just in time for Christmas. 


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