Auto Spotlight: The Mazda Rx7, Part 1: The Intro

     The FD3S Rx7 from Mazda.  One of the most beautiful cars ever created.  One look at it and you know Mazda ddin’t skimp on the details with this car.  From its curvacious body to its perfect 50/50 weight distribution, Mazda went back to the drawing board with this rx7 and wanted to go all out even after its successful FC rx7.

     Mazda wanted a lightweight sports car to succeed the previous rx7 as well as challenge the whole world, not just its japanese rivals.  Their goals?  To develop a “world class sports car”, as well as “Mazda’s best sports car”.  A 50/50 weight distribution was required from the get-go, as well as a 1250 kg (~2800 lb) curb weight and less than a 5kg/hp ratio.  To do that, the engineers looked at the Zero fighter plane from WWII.  The attention to detail, as well as the lightness inspired them to create a sports car with a decent amount of power without sacrificing the weight.  Aluminum was used for the body panels, as well as the suspension instead of steel.  The exhaust was reduced to a single exit, instead of the dual exhaust featured on the previous rx7.

     What we got was a 250 horsepower plus (255 to be exact) sports car pushing only 2,800 pounds of car.  It’s powerplant was newly developed for this generation of 7, and Mazda obviously kept using its famous rotary engine, but this time  mated with two turbos instead of one.  Its styling was and still is one of the most beautifully designed and crafted automobiles ever, with its flowing lines from front to back.  It featured a perfect 50/50 weight distribution, as well as double wishbone suspensions both in front and back.

     But the U.S. only got the series 6 models (1993-1995), while in Japan production continued for the rx7 until 2002.  The updated series 7 came with a 10 hp boost in power due to ECU changes, and in 1998 the FD received its final update.  A facelift came with a new front fascia, rear taillight and spoiler.  The power was again boosted up, this time to 276 ponies.  The ABS was upgraded as well, along with the brakes and retuned suspension and wheels/tires.  And then production was halted in 2002, with the final FD rolling off the assembly lines in August.  The FD3S survived for 9 years on the market, and was received and praised as one of the best sports cars of all time.  Even now, a used 2002 rx7 in Japan commands 170,000 yen, or about $17,000.  Its the price you pay for *almost* perfection; an amazing sports car with everything you could ever want; lightweight, powerful, and attractive.  My favorite car by far.

     Here’s a gallery of FDs from  Next time we’ll talk over the numbers.  Stay tuned.



2 Responses to “Auto Spotlight: The Mazda Rx7, Part 1: The Intro”

  1. 1 wonker March 19, 2009 at 2:02 am

    Interesting blog, I’ll try and spread the word.

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