So the Bergenholtz brothers arranged for the engine to get built and ported. If the engine is built well, then it should be able to generate more horsepower and be stronger at the same time. Rotaries, as some of you know, have the Achilles tendon: the apex seal. Hopefully this built engine has better seals.
So two weeks ago on a monday night, I went to break in the engine and tune the Apex Power FC ECU at the same time. Rotaries really do need quite a bit of break in. There are so many seals in them that they all need to seal really well before the engine can generate good power. When XS builds an engine, the customer is always told to drive it around for 1000 miles. When the engine comes back for power tuning, the engines always have more compression, pull more vacuum at idle and run much smoother. Let’s face it: the rotary isn’t perfect, but for those of us who love them, they are the best.
Anyhow, so with no other changes except for the engine, I was able to make 435whp with 25whp more from 4500 to 8000rpm. The IHI RX-6 turbo is out of breath and boost I couldn’t get the boost above 1.0kg/cm^2 at redline. I would have liked a larger exhaust port that opened earlier and closed later and an intake port that closed later. Basically I’m describing an XS built engine. There’s more torque, more power, it revs higher, etc. Not all “ports” are created equal like some rotary guys think. The problem with a rotary is that the owners of the engines aren’t going out and buying camshafts so they can’t really quantify their port. For a piston engine guy, it’s like “yeah, i got 272s or 280’s”. But a rotary guy just says, “it’s a big street port.” It’s kind of like a piston engine’s cylinder head where you can’t really explain in words the goal of the port. The problem with this statement is that the word “big” is relative. Big to one guy isn’t big to the next. I swear, 9 out of 10 guys who claim they have “big” streetports actually have SMALL ports.
Anyhow, so I heard Miki hopped in the car in Seattle, did a lap, and said, “whoa, this car got more powerful!” Good luck to Apex and the Bergenholtz brothers. Power is a wonderful thing.
Jensen Oda who used to work for me, Lanny Higa, and Gary Castillo (design craft fab) did most of the fab on this car. The funny thing is none of them work at Apex anymore. Gary never did. He just drank Heinekens and fabricated.
I love FDs.