Mazda pays tribute to the RX-7

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Words: Nile Bijoux
25 Jun 2018

Mazda has brought together three pristine examples of the iconic RX-7, one from each generation, in celebration of the badge’s 40th birthday.

The RX-7 nameplate debuted in 1978 on the first generation ‘FB’ car. That model was powered by a 1.2-litre twin-rotor engine and made a modest 77kW, but gained a turbo in 1983 which bumped power to 121kW.

The ‘FC’ RX-7 arrived in 1985, in both natty and boosted forms. The former offered 108kW while the latter had 136kW. The FC was tuned more towards sports touring, with much-improved handling that did a lot to negate the oversteering tendencies of the FB. The rear end was upgraded from a live rear axle to independent rear suspension and disk brakes came standard.

Finally, in 1992, the FD arrived. This boasted the first-ever mass-produced sequential twin-turbocharger system to export from Japan. The FD was first rated at 188KW but hit the magical JDM number of 206kW by the time production ended in 2002. It returned to the FB roots of sporty driving, with further handling and driving improvements over the FC.

Sadly, after 2002, the RX-7 name retired into the history books, with many fans not counting the heavier, slower RX-8 its true successor. Mazda hasn’t confirmed a new rotary-powered sports car either, despite countless rumblings over the years. The gorgeous RX-Vision concept from 2015 hasn’t materialised as a production car and the latest application for the rotary is set to be a range extender for an upcoming electrified Mazda.

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