Home / Social media / News / World's biggest rotary fan - Mad Mike Whiddett - builds first-ever 5-Rotor drift car.


If you’re a fan of those high-revving pistonless motors, there is no way that you don’t know who Mad Mike Whiddett is. But, if you have been living a sheltered life and have no clue, we’ll tell you… Mad Mike is a professional drifter who hails from Auckland, New Zealand, a country that’s known to be home to some of the most hardcore rotary fanatics. While it’s not a scientifically verified fact, we’re pretty sure New Zealand is home to more rotary-swapped projects than any other country on the planet. You’ll find amazing rotary-powered cars at park-off, drag race events and drift events, but the best of the best in our uneducated opinion belongs to Mad Mike. He has an extensive collection of cars, but it’s the purpose-built ones that have garnered worldwide fame. All his cars have names that give a nod to his main sponsor, Red Bull. One is called BADBUL, a Mazda RX8 fitted with a monster of a turbocharged triple-rotor 20B turbo powerplant. Another is called HUMBUL, and this one is based on a Series 6 Mazda FD RX7 and features a twin-turbocharged quad-rotor 26B setup. The most famous is probably RADBUL, a Mazda NC MX5 which is also fitted with a twin-turbocharged 26B quad-rotor setup. In the world of rotary engines, there are three basic setups, the most common is the 13B with a twin-rotor setup. A size bigger is the 20B with a triple-rotor setup, and then the big daddy 26B has a quad-rotor configuration. The 26B was never fitted to a production car though, which makes them hard to find. Some people do manage to build their own by lengthening the eccentric shaft (basically the crank) and adding extra rotor housings, but they’ve always stuck to pairs. Mad Mike had a different dream though and wanted to create a 5-rotor configuration and that’s what you see here. 

The 5-rotor is the result of four years of development in collaboration with Pulse Performance Race Engineering, New Zealend’s (and the world’s) top rotary tuners. The body for this ground-breaking engine needed to be as good, and as you can see from the pics snapped by Omegah Photography, it certainly is. It looks like a completely purpose-built boy, and by that I mean it’s not really based on any specific Mazda, but instead looks like a mishmash of things, and it’s awesome. Thanks to its size, you immediately think MX5, but some lines look like RX8 and the front-end design looks like a scaled-down version of the iconic 787B. The nose clips off for better access to that stunner of an engine, and you can see many of the components are all top-notch and easily replaceable in case of a bump during a drift session. What we do know is that the body was designed in collaboration with Ken Miura San from that rather well-known company responsible for some of the coolest wide arch body kits in existence, Rocket Bunny. At the time of the reveal at his own packed event, Mad Mike admitted the car wasn’t 100% ready for competition yet but things were put together enough for a start-up for the crowd. The normally aspirated, throttled 5-rotor has quite a unique soundtrack, which you’ll hear in the video. It’s clearly a rotary but it looks like that 5th rotor housing seems to give the soundtrack a bit of a deeper tone than we usually hear from a rotary lump. The whole car looks like a sort of mini 787B and that’s about as awesome as it gets. There’s also a clue that it pays homage to the 787B in the name, It’s been called the 787D. The D we presume stands for Drift in this case. We like. We can’t wait to see this car in action at MIke’s more than capable hands, it can only be epic. Hopefully one day we’ll see a full Red Bull showcase on the car too.

Take a look at the YouTube video that shows off a world-first 5-rotor powerplant all wrapped up in a one-off body that's sort of MX-5-sized but also isn't. Mad Mike revealed the car at his annual Summer Bash event in Hampton Downs, Waikato, New Zealand to legions of supporters and rotary fanatics: WORLDS first 5rotor is ALIVE! 787D | Mad Mike Whiddett

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