Lichfield, Staffordshire: Â Not only has history been made, but rules have been rewritten following the debut of the first ever British made sports car successfully powered by a single rotor rotary engine at the 2016 Cenex Low Carbon Vehicle Event on 14-15 September.
The large scale event held at the Millbrook Proving Ground was the setting for a dynamic ride and drive test of a ground-breaking low carbon rotary engine integrated within a popular British open-top Westfield Sportscar.
The 120bhp rotary engine developed by world-class rotary specialists Advanced Innovative Engineering (UK) Ltd couldn’t help but turn heads as the unmistakable sound of the rotary exhaust rumbled across the course, delivering exceptional performance as it was put to its paces around the ride and drive test track.
The historic moment captured in this video, is a result of a Niche Vehicle Network collaborative project to develop a high performance low carbon vehicle; utilising an AIE rotary engine designed to improve fuel efficiency and environmental performance of the vehicle, whilst delivering optimal power with reduced emissions.
Although generally viewed as an unlikely fuel efficient option considering the history of the rotary engine, AIE (UK) Ltd defied critics by showcasing the rule changing capabilities of the latest 650S rotary engine that utilises patented technology including SPARCS (Self-Pressurising-Air Rotor Cooling System). This innovative cooling concept invented by Norton Rotary Engine specialist David Garside rectifies previous drawbacks of the engine, providing superior heat rejection and efficient thermal balancing to reduce wear, increase efficiency and deliver unrivalled performance above other oil and air-cooled rotary engines.
Commenting at this notable event, AIE Managing Director, Nathan Bailey noted “It was definitely a milestone moment to watch our 650S make history as the first single rotor engine to power a British sports car around the track. AIE have once again proven that through advanced technology and precision engineering, rotary engines can deliver innovative solutions as lightweight, efficient powertrains within the automotive industry.”
With this new high performance rotary engine occupying less than 50% of the engine area volume and boasting a 50% reduction in overall weight from a standard four-cylinder engine, the 650S lends itself perfectly to the weight reduction and low emission requirements of the automotive industry whilst still delivering an impressive 120bhp performance using less fuel.
Although further test runs will be conducted in an effort to further improve efficiencies, the extremely high interest and attention towards this new rotary powered sports car will play a large role in the future of next generation rotary engines andÂ the reigniting of a once coveted dream technology to its former glory.
To follow the journey of the first rotary engine powered British sports car and discover the ground-breaking capabilities of AIE rotary engines, connect with AIE on Twitter @aieukltd, LinkedIn at AIE – Advanced Innovative Engineering or visit www.aieuk.com.
About the Niche Vehicle Network
Supported by Innovate UK, the Office for Low Emission Vehicles and the Department for Business Innovation and Skills, the Niche Vehicle Network is an independent association of over 400 niche vehicle manufacturers, specialist technology and supply chain companies. With funded collaborative research and development activities in low carbon vehicle technologies, including electric and hybrid propulsion, lightweight chassis structures, engine efficiency, alternative fuels and aerodynamics, the Niche Vehicle Network is a valuable partner for AIE.
About Westfield Sportscars Ltd
Westfield has sold over 12000 cars worldwide since 1983 and currently produce over 400 cars a year for driving enthusiasts the world over. In an age of manufacturing imports Westfield are proud to boast high quality British craftsmanship in every aspect of production, and they build them in the heart of the United Kingdom.
About Advanced Innovative Engineering (UK) Ltd:
AIE is a UK-based engineering company specialising in the development of innovative Wankel rotary engines. The AIE team boasts a combined experience of over 80 years in rotary engine design, R&D, and manufacturing; delivering products and services that have exceptional reliability, versatility and low total cost of ownership (TCO) for the global Aerospace, Automotive and Marine markets.