Just listen to the world’s first five-rotor motor fire up

by Nik Berg
7 December 2023 1 min read
Just listen to the world’s first five-rotor motor fire up

Raging rotorhead Mad Mike Whiddett has just let rip his most wonderful Wankel to date. The New Zealander unveiled his 787D – a five-rotor drift weapon – at his annual summer bash.

Mike’s previous projects have always been, at least loosely, based on Mazda sports cars. The BADBUL was an RX-8 powered by a triple-rotor, turbocharged 20B engine, that took him to the 2009 New Zealand Drift Championship title, and then on to Formula Drift. Next came the RADBUL, that was a mash-up of NC and ND MX-5s that somehow squeezed a four-rotor, 1,200 hp, twin-turbo 26B under the hood. Following that was a throwback to Mazda’s primetime with the MADBUL, an RX-7 derived monster with a naturally-aspirated quad-rotor, and the HUMBUL 1,000 hp RX-7 in which he won the 2018 Formula Drift Japan championship. He even turned a humdrum Mazda Luce cab into a turbo-charged twin-rotor Drift Taxi.

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The 787D, however, doesn’t seem to be inspired by any Mazda road car, but rather the company’s 1991 Le Mans-winning 787B. The body, by Ken Miura of Rocket Bunny is certainly reminiscent of the glory days of Group C endurance racing, and the Argyle-pattern Reknown livery is a lovely touch.

The D outguns the B by packing five rotors instead of four, and, as it’s been designed for drifting the motor is mounted behind the front axle, rather than ahead of the rear, like the Le Mans champ. “This is what happens when I build a car with no rules,” says Whiddett.

We can’t wait to see it in action, but in the meantime just listen to that crazy sound. If you’re smitten, like us, you can even pick an official HotWheels model.

HotWheels MadMikeDriftAttack

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