Mazda RX-7

The Mazda RX-7 debuted in 1979, using a rotary engine. Mazda employs the German-made Wankel rotary engine in the RX-7 with confidence that makes all the difference when looking for the next sports car innovation.

More on the Mazda RX-7
Mazda RX-7 Origins

The first North American shipment of 150 RX-7s sold out almost immediately.

In the U.S., demand for the RX-7 ran so high that buyers reportedly paid almost double the list price to own one. Even with the supply shortage, U.S. sales in the first eight months reached 29,000 units.

About the Mazda RX-7

In Australia, Mazda sells the Series I RX-7, which comes with a 12A engine producing 103 hp at 6000 rpm and 108 lb-ft of torque at 4000 rpm. Carburetion is a Nikki four-barrel downdraft carburetor.

The aerodynamic body features pop-up headlights that help save six percent of drag. The engine mounts in a front/mid location behind the front axle, giving the car an excellent weight distribution of 51/49 front/rear.

The RX-7's performance, when compared to its competitors, stands alone. Datsun's 280ZX, Alfa Romeo's GTV 2000, and Porsche’s 924 all move slower. The RX-7 coupe reaches a top speed of 160 mph.

Mazda RX-7 Features

Series 7, available from 1996 to 1998, includes minor changes to the car, like a simplified vacuum routing manifold power system. In Japan, the Series 7 sells under the Mazda brand name.

The Series 8, produced from January 1999 to August 2002, marked the final release of the RX-7 and only sold on the Japanese market.

Mazda RX-7 Evolution

Mazda did not make any big changes to the RX-7 until the 1984 model year, replacing the 100-horsepower engine with a 1.3-liter engine with fuel injection, bringing the horses up to 135.

This reduces the zero to 60 mph time to the seven second range, a big deal in 1984.

The 1986 RX-7 marks the beginning of the second generation, which means a complete overhaul of the model. The power of the naturally aspirated engine increases to 146 horsepower while maintaining the 1.3-liter engine. The model adds a wider track and wheelbase complete with independent rear suspension. These changes add almost 150 pounds to the weight of the RX-7, but they don’t make a bit of difference when it comes to speed.

Later in the 1986 model year Mazda also released the X-7 turbo, featuring a turbocharged 182-horsepower, 1.3-liter engine. The turbo RX-7 finally reaches 60 mph in about six seconds.

1988 saw the release of the RX-7 convertible two-seater, which only comes with the non-turbo engine and a five-speed transmission. Mazda tweaked the rotary engine in 1999 to allow the non-turbo engines to reach 160 hp and the turbo to hit 200 hp. The RX-7 stood on its own without significant changes until 1993.

The third generation of the RX-7 features an updated body design. Mazda adds the 13B-REW engine, which represents the first-ever mass-produced sequential twin-turbocharger system exported from Japan, boosting power to 252 hp. Mazda released the 1993 RX-7 in Japan as the Efini RX-7

The 1993 RX-7 won Motor Trend's award for Import Car of the Year. When Playboy magazine first reviewed the RX-7 in 1993, it tested the model in the same issue as the 1993 Dodge Viper. In that issue, Playboy declares the RX-7 to be the better of the two cars.

It went on to win Playboy's Car of the Year in 1993. The FD RX-7 also made Car and Driver magazine's Ten Best list from 1993 to 1995, every year in which it sold state-side.

Mazda offers three models of the RX-7 in North America: the base, the touring, and the R. The touring model includes a sunroof, fog lights, leather seats, and a complex Bose Acoustic Wave system. The R model features a stiffer suspension, an aerodynamic package, suede seats, and Z-rated tires.

In 1994, a PEG (performance equipment group) model became available. This model features leather seats and a sunroof. It does not include the fog lights or Bose stereo from the touring package. In 1995, the PEP (popular equipment package) replaced the touring package. The PEP package contains all of the equipment from the touring package.

Select a Mazda RX-7 Year

1995 Mazda RX-7

Coupe, Sports

In 1993, Mazda rolled out the third-generation of its classic sport coupe, the RX-7.