Undoubtedly, the company that's most often associated with rotary engine technology is Mazda. The Japanese automaker has been building Wankel powerplants for decades, with the current RX-8 standing alone as the only new automobile powered by the innovative engine architecture. In reality, though, many firms have experimented with the rotary engine, including Suzuki, which offered a rotary-powered motorcycle in the Seventies. Up until the mid-Nineties, European racetracks were filled with the buzzing sounds of Wankel-engined Norton motorcycles terrorizing their larger four-stoke twin-cylinder competitors and winning races such as the Isle of Man TT in 1992.
That unmistakable buzzsaw sound is set to make a comeback at this year's running at the Isle of Man as the latest Norton revival takes to the track. Click past the break for a video of the rotary-powered NRV588 as it makes a few laps at Donington Park and the dyno. Pay special attention to the exposed exhaust pipes, which reportedly get so hot they need to be made from Inconel.