Rotax 912 iS Upgrade Improves Torque, New Induction

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With some 500 912 iS engines in the field in the two years since its introduction, Rotax announced at Sun 'n Fun that it has developed a new induction design for the engine that delivers more torque and slightly better fuel economy. The new airbox, which sits on top of the engine, is now manufactured in metal and includes tuned intake tubes to smooth out turbulence in the intake system. The engine is also getting a replacement ECU to maximize efficiency from the new induction.

Minor improvements include new mounts for a sensor pack attached to the induction box and improved ignition connectors. According to Rotax, the new engine, which it calls the 912 iS Sport, delivers up to 6 foot pounds of additional torque at typical RPMs for the Rotax engines of about 5200. 

Although Rotax is marketing the engine as a new model called the 912 iS Sport, it actually appears to be more of a fix for the original model. Owners of existing 912 iS engines will have until October to take delivery on a free upgrade kit to bring their original 912 iSs up to the new standard. Engines with the new induction, connectors and ECU will begin shipping from the factory in May, according to Rotax. The company introduced the engine in March of 2012 as a follow-on to its popular 912 series carbureted engines. The 912 iS has port fuel injection and electronic ignition and has delivered substantially better fuel economy than Rotax originally promised. To find out more about obtaining upgrade kits, check out this podcast recorded with Lockwood Aviation's Dean Vogel at Sun 'n Fun.

Rotax manager Christian Mundingler said the improved 912 iS will provide steeper climbs, shorter takeoffs, longer flight range, easier operation and higher cruise speed, The upgrade should take about 6 to 10 hours of labor, which owners will have to pay. The upgrade doesn't require engine removal. After October, the upgrade kits will cost about $1,800. The new engine will be sold at the 2013 price of the 912 engine, until the end of October, Mundingler said.