In the late sixties and early seventies, many car companies were enamored with the power density of Wankel rotary engines, including NSU, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz and General Motors. GM ultimately built at least two mid-engine "Corvette" concepts with Wankels, one with two rotors and the other with four. The four-rotor was eventually replaced by a small block to become the Aerovette. When John Z. Delorean left to create his own car, he envisioned it propelled by a rotary engine as well.

As was the case with every other carmaker save Mazda, the Wankel was ultimately abandoned in favor of a piston engine. But one Delorean owner didn't forget the original vision. Through the 1980s and 1990s the only rotary-powered car sold in the US market was the Mazda RX-7 although Mazda did offer the engine in other Japanese-market models. One of those was a coupe called the Eunos Cosmo. The Cosmo eventually got a 2.0L three-rotor version of the engine that put out 300hp. One of these was sacrificed to provide a new heart for the Delorean you see here.

There's more commentary after the jump, and a video, too.

[Source: EliseUSA.com via CarScoop]


The Wankel is bolted to the back of a six-speed gearbox from a 1995 Porsche 911 C2, while the original instrument cluster was swapped out in favor of the electronic cluster from the Cosmo. The end result is a very respectable 0-60mph time of 4.5 seconds, which is less than half the time a stock model would take. If all the Deloreans were as quick as this one and looked as good thanks to the paint job, the boss might not have had to resort to a bungled drug deal to try and save the company.