Home Page About Us Contribute

















Mazda RX-7

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

RX-7
Vehicle Model

Topic Navigation
Wikipedia: Mazda RX-7

Page Sections
History
Photographs
1982 Specifications
Merchandise
Article Index
A sports car produced by Mazda from 1978-2002. Also sold as the ɛ̃fini RX-7 in Japan. Notable for its rotary engine.  Replaced by the RX-8. Replaced by the RX-8 for the 2003 model year.

History

The following section is an excerpt from Wikipedia's Mazda RX-7 page on 6 July 2016, text available via the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

The Mazda RX-7 is a sports car that was produced by the Japanese automaker Mazda from 1978 to 2002. The original RX-7 featured a 1,146 cc (69.9 cu in) twin-rotor Wankel rotary engine and a front-midship, rear-wheel drive layout. The RX-7 replaced the RX-3, with both models sold in Japan as the Mazda Savanna.

The original RX-7 was a sports car with pop-up headlamps. The compact and lightweight Wankel rotary engine is situated slightly behind the front axle, a configuration marketed by Mazda as "front mid-engine". It was offered as a two-seat coupé, with optional "occasional" rear seats in Japan, Australia, the United States, and other parts of the world. The rear seats were initially marketed as a dealer-installed option for the North American markets.

The RX-7 made Car and Driver magazine's Ten Best list five times. 811,634 RX-7s were produced.

The RX-7 has become notable through pop culture such as The Fast and the Furious series, Initial D, Need for Speed, Wangan Midnight, Forza Motorsport and Gran Turismo.

First Generation (SA22C/FB)

Series 1 (1978–1980) is commonly referred to as the "SA22C" from the first alphanumerics of the vehicle identification number. In Japan it was introduced in March 1978, replacing the Savanna RX-3, and joined Mazda's only other remaining rotary engine powered products, called the Mazda Cosmo which was a two-door luxury coupe, and the Mazda Luce luxury sedan.

The lead designer at Mazda was Matasaburo Maeda, whose son Ikuo would go on to design the Mazda2 and Mazda RX-8. The transition of the Savana to a sports car appearance reflected products from other Japanese manufacturers. The advantage the RX-7 had was its minimal size and weight, and the compact rotary engine installed behind the front axle, which helped balance the front to rear weight distribution, and provide a low center of gravity.

In Japan, sales were enhanced by the fact that the RX-7 complied with Japanese Government dimension regulations, and Japanese buyers were not liable for yearly taxes for driving a larger car. The rotary engine had financial advantages to Japanese consumers in that the engine displacement remained below 1.5 litres, a significant determination when paying the Japanese annual road tax which kept the obligation affordable to most buyers, while having more power than the traditional inline engines.

In May 1980, Mazda released a limited production run of special North American models known as the Leathersport Models. This package was essentially an uprated GS model with added LS badges on each B-pillar, special striping, and LS-only gold anodized wheels (with polished outer face and wheel rim). All LS editions came equipped with special LS-only full brown leather upholstery, leather wrapped steering wheel, leather wrapped shift knob, removable sunroof, LS-specific four-speaker AM/FM stereo radio with power antenna (though listed as a six speaker stereo, as the two rear dual voice coil speakers were counted as four speakers in total), remote power door side mirrors, and other standard GS equipment. Two primary options were also available; a three-speed JATCO 3N71B automatic transmission and air conditioning. Other GS options such as cassette tape deck, splash guards, padded center console arm rest and others could be added by the dealer. The LS model was only ever available in three different exterior colors: Aurora White, Brilliant Black, and Solar Gold. No official production records are known to exist or to have been released. This series of RX-7 had exposed steel bumpers and a high-mounted indentation-located license plate, called by Werner Buhrer of Road & Track magazine a "Baroque depression."

Second generation (FC)

The Series 4 (1985–1988) was available with a naturally aspirated, fuel-injected 13B-VDEI producing 146 hp (108 kW). An optional turbocharged model, (1985–1988) known as the Turbo II in the American market, had 182 hp / 185 ps (135 kW). The Series 5 (1989–1992) featured updated styling and better engine management, as well as lighter rotors and a higher compression ratio, 9.7:1 for the naturally aspirated model, and 9.0:1 for the turbo model. The naturally aspirated Series 5 FC made 160 hp (119 kW), while the Series 5 Turbo made 200 hp / 205 ps (147 kW).

The rotary engine had financial advantages to Japanese consumers in that the engine displacement remained below 1.5 litres, a significant determination when paying the Japanese annual road tax which kept the obligation affordable to most buyers, while having more power than the traditional inline engines. The RX-7 in this regard to Japanese owners offered comparable performance to other Japanese performance coupes, while being of lighter weight, with a balanced chassis, and lively performance, without the extra expense of the road tax obligation.

The second generation RX-7 ("FC", VIN begins JM1FC3 or JMZFC1), still known as the Mazda Savanna RX-7 in Japan, featured a complete restyling reminiscent of the Porsche 924. Mazda's stylists, led by Chief Project Engineer Akio Uchiyama, focused on the Porsche 924 for their inspiration in designing the FC because the new car was being styled primarily for the American market, where the majority of first generation RX-7's had been sold.

This strategy was chosen after Uchiyama and others on the design team spent time in the United States studying owners of earlier RX-7's and other sports cars popular in the American market. The Porsche 944 was selling particularly well at the time and provided clues as to what sports-car enthusiasts might find compelling in future RX-7 styling and equipment.

Third generation (FD)

The third generation of the RX-7, FD (with FD3S for Japan and JM1FD for the USA VIN), featured an updated body design. The 13B-REW was the first-ever mass-produced sequential twin-turbocharger system to export from Japan, boosting power to 255 PS (188 kW; 252 hp) in 1993 and finally 280 PS (206 kW; 276 hp) by the time production ended in Japan in 2002.

In Japan, sales were affected by the fact that this series RX-7 no longer complied with Japanese Government dimension regulations, and Japanese buyers were liable for yearly taxes for driving a wider car compared to previous generations. As the RX-7 was now considered an upper-level luxury sportscar due to the increased width dimensions, Mazda offered two smaller sports cars, the Eunos Roadster, and the Eunos Presso hatchback.

The sequential twin turbocharged system, introduced on this series in 1992, was a very complex piece of engineering, developed with the aid of Hitachi and previously used on the exclusive to Japan Cosmo series (JC Cosmo=90–95). The system was composed of two turbochargers, one to provide boost at low RPM. The second unit was on standby until the upper half of the rpm range during full throttle acceleration. The first turbocharger provided 10 psi (0.7 bar) of boost from 1800 rpm, and the second turbocharger was activated at 4000 rpm to maintain 10 psi (0.7 bar) until redline. The changeover process occurred at 4500 rpm, with a momentary dip in pressure to 8 psi (0.6 bar), and provided semi-linear acceleration and a wide torque curve throughout the entire rev range under "normal operation". However, under performance driving the changeover process produced a significant increase in power and forced technical drivers to adjust their driving style to anticipate and mitigate any over-steer during cornering. Many owners modified their turbo control systems into a parallel system by removing the exhaust manifold Turbo Control Valve and the turbo coupling "y-pipe" Charge Control Actuator and valve in order to remove the changeover process and to simplify the control system for reliability. Turbo lag was greatly increased below 4500 rpm, but smooth and linear boost could be obtained. The stock turbo control system used 4 control solenoids, 4 actuators, both a vacuum and pressure chamber, and several feet of preformed vacuum/pressure hoses all of which were prone to failure in part to complexity and the inherent high temperatures of the rotary engine.


Photographs

1985 Mazda RX-7 1985
Photo ©2009 Bill Crittenden
2009 Pop's Productions Father's Day Car Show and Swap
View photo of 1985 Mazda RX-7 - 4,088KB
1985 Mazda RX-7 1985
Photo ©2009 Bill Crittenden
2009 Pop's Productions Father's Day Car Show and Swap
View photo of 1985 Mazda RX-7 - 3,884KB
1985 Mazda RX-7 1985
Photo ©2009 Bill Crittenden
2009 Pop's Productions Father's Day Car Show and Swap
View photo of 1985 Mazda RX-7 - 2,992KB
1985 Mazda RX-7 1985
Photo ©2009 Bill Crittenden
2009 Pop's Productions Father's Day Car Show and Swap
View photo of 1985 Mazda RX-7 - 3,665KB
1985 Mazda RX-7 1985
Photo ©2009 Bill Crittenden
2009 Pop's Productions Father's Day Car Show and Swap
View photo of 1985 Mazda RX-7 - 3,419KB
1985 Mazda RX-7 1985
Photo ©2009 Bill Crittenden
2009 Pop's Productions Father's Day Car Show and Swap
View photo of 1985 Mazda RX-7 - 5,165KB
1985 Mazda RX-7 1985
Photo ©2009 Bill Crittenden
2009 Pop's Productions Father's Day Car Show and Swap
View photo of 1985 Mazda RX-7 - 4,685KB
1985 Mazda RX-7 1985
Photo ©2009 Bill Crittenden
2009 Pop's Productions Father's Day Car Show and Swap
View photo of 1985 Mazda RX-7 - 3,084KB
King of Europe: 2014, Round 3 (Lydden Hill) King of Europe: 2014 Round 3 (Lydden Hill)
Photo by Rowan Harrison
This photo is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 License.
View photo of King of Europe 2014, Round 3 (Lydden Hill) - 5.5MB
1993 Mazda RX-7 Modified 1993
Photo ©2009 Bill Crittenden
2009 FITE Center for Independent Living Car Show
View photo of 1993 Mazda RX-7 - 4,144KB
1993 Mazda RX-7 Modified 1993
Photo ©2009 Bill Crittenden
2009 FITE Center for Independent Living Car Show
View photo of 1993 Mazda RX-7 - 3,340KB
1993 Mazda RX-7 Modified 1993
Photo ©2009 Bill Crittenden
2009 FITE Center for Independent Living Car Show
View photo of 1993 Mazda RX-7 - 4,278KB
1993 Mazda RX-7 Modified 1993
Photo ©2009 Bill Crittenden
2009 FITE Center for Independent Living Car Show
View photo of 1993 Mazda RX-7 - 3,398KB
1993 Mazda RX-7 Modified 1993
Photo ©2009 Bill Crittenden
2009 FITE Center for Independent Living Car Show
View photo of 1993 Mazda RX-7 - 4,525KB
Mazda RX-7 Modified
Photo ©2013 Bill Crittenden
New Berlin Quaker Steak & Lube Cruise Night: July 18, 2013
View photo of Mazda RX-7 - 4.1MB
Mazda RX-7 Modified
Photo ©2013 Bill Crittenden
New Berlin Quaker Steak & Lube Cruise Night: July 18, 2013
View photo of Mazda RX-7 - 3.6MB
Mazda RX-7 Modified
Photo ©2013 Bill Crittenden
New Berlin Quaker Steak & Lube Cruise Night: July 18, 2013
View photo of Mazda RX-7 - 3.0MB
Mazda RX-7 Modified
Photo ©2013 Bill Crittenden
New Berlin Quaker Steak & Lube Cruise Night: July 18, 2013
View photo of Mazda RX-7 - 3.5MB
Mazda RX-7 Race Car Model Car Race Car
Photo ©2013 Bill Crittenden
2013 Attack of the Plastic
View photo of Mazda RX-7 Race Car Model Car - 3.0MB
Mazda RX-7 Race Car Model Car Race Car
Photo ©2013 Bill Crittenden
2013 Attack of the Plastic
View photo of Mazda RX-7 Race Car Model Car - 2.8MB
Mazda RX-7 Race Car Model Car Race Car
Photo ©2013 Bill Crittenden
2013 Attack of the Plastic
View photo of Mazda RX-7 Race Car Model Car - 3.2MB


1982 Specifications

ModelGS
0-60 mph*9.7 seconds
80-0 mph*258 feet
Cornering Capability*0.767g
Interior Noise @ 70mph*76 dBA
Fuel Economy*21.0 mpg
*=Test conducted by Road & Track, 1982 Guide to Sports & GT Cars

Merchandise

Type & Item #NameDetails
Die Cast - Matchbox 33867-1910-G2Mazda RX-7Street Cruisers, 1:58 scale, orange & black
Die Cast - Racing Champions 369721993 Mazda RX-7The Fast and The Furious Series 5, 1:64 scale, red w/silver graphics, modified
Model Kit - Aoshima 039182MazdaSpeed GT-C. GT-Concept '96 RX-7 Left Hand Drive Model A-Spec S-Package Ver.R Series1:24 scale, kit #60


Article Index

DateArticleAuthor/Source
4 October 2007Mazda RX7 Parts Enhance The Mazda RX-7 ExperienceAnthony Fontanelle
7 September 2011Comparison Specs Mazda RX-7 RX8Terry S. Vostor




Connect with The Crittenden Automotive Library

The Crittenden Automotive Library at Google+ The Crittenden Automotive Library on Facebook The Crittenden Automotive Library on Instagram The Crittenden Automotive Library at The Internet Archive The Crittenden Automotive Library on Pinterest The Crittenden Automotive Library on Twitter The Crittenden Automotive Library on Tumblr  
 
 


The Crittenden Automotive Library

Home Page    About Us    Contribute




By accessing the The Crittenden Automotive Library/CarsAndRacingStuff.com, you signify your agreement with the terms and conditions on our Legal Information:  Disclaimers & Privacy Policy page.

To notify The Crittenden Automotive Library of errors, suggest topics, contribute information, make a comment on a page or to ask a question e-mail us.