Mazda Rotary Pickup Truck
Of all the Japanese car companies, Mazda is famous for being the most innovative. That is why they kept perfecting the Wankel engine in the late ’60s. The first Wankel powered model was a little sports car they called the 1100 Cosmo. And soon, Mazda started installing this engine into their ordinary models.
The advantages of the Wankel engine are considerable. It has smaller dimensions and a lower weight compared to regular inline units. The Wankel has a high revving capacity but was of simple construction. However, the disadvantages were also significant. Wankel engines have little torque and are not durable. Also, since the construction is so specific, spare parts and components are hard to come by.
For this reason, it was strange when Mazda decided to install a small Wankel engine in its B-Series pickup truck in 1973. The B-Series was a common Mazda compact truck they sold globally. The pickup with the Wankel engine got 110 HP from the diminutive 1.3-liter engine. But this was enough since the whole truck weighed a little more than one ton.
The interesting thing was that the red line on this little engine was 7,000 rpm. This made driving a B-Series truck more like driving a sports car. Unfortunately, this truck wasn’t capable of towing or carrying a lot, but it looked cool and sounded awesome.