Mazda RX-7


Introduction: The Mazda RX-7 was first introduced in the U.S. in 1978 as a 1979 model. Featuring good performance at a reasonable price, the true allure of the RX-7 was its Rotary engine, which was the only one available in the U.S. for decades.

1979-1982 Mazda RX-7

Comments: The first generation Mazda RX-7's featured a carbureted 12A rotary engine which displaced just 1.2 liters and was rated at 105 bhp.

Engines: 1.2 rotary 105 bhp @ 4000 rpm, 105 lb-ft @ 4000 rpm.
Performance: 0-60 in 10.0 seconds, 1/4 mile in 17.0 seconds @ 80 mph.

1983-1985 Mazda RX-7

Comments: 1984 marked the introduction of a more powerful 1.3 L rotary engine, the 13B. This was installed into the top end version of the first generation car, called the GSL-SE in the U.S. This new engine produced 135 bhp and "special edition" cars received other upgrades as well, including standard 4-wheel disc brakes, and a Limited Slip Differential.

Engines: 1.2 rotary 105 bhp @ 4000 rpm, 105 lb-ft @ 4000 rpm. 1.3 rotary 135 bhp @ 6000 rpm, 135 lb-ft @ 3000 rpm.
Performance: 1.2/105: 0-60 in 10.0 seconds, 1/4 mile in 17.0 seconds @ 80 mph. 1.3/135: 0-60 in 8.8 seconds, 1/4 mile in 16.2 seconds @ 84 mph.

1986-1987 Mazda RX-7

Comments: 1986 saw the introduction of the second generation Mazda RX-7 and featured several upgrades. The new standard engine was a 1.3 liter rotary engine (13B) rated at 146 bhp and standard 4-wheel disc brakes. For the first time in the U.S., a turbo-charged engine was available. As a previous version was available in other markets, the new Turbo engine was called the "Turbo II" and was rated at a stout 182 bhp.

Engines: 1.3 rotary 146 bhp @ 6500 rpm, 138 lb-ft @ 3500 rpm. 1.3 rotary turbo 182 bhp @ 6500 rpm, 183 lb-ft @ 4000 rpm.
Performance: 1.3/146: 0-60 in 7.7 seconds, 1/4 mile in 15.5 seconds @ 87 mph. 1.3t/182: 0-60 in 6.8 seconds, 1/4 mile in 14.4 seconds @ 93 mph.

1988-1992 Mazda RX-7

Comments: The RX-7 received a freshening in 1988, with minor exterior changes. These changes included a revised front fascia, and body-colored body strips. The normally aspirated engine (NA) was bumped up to 160 bhp, while the Turbo was increased to 200 bhp. Exterior aerodynamic pieces became more unified in appearance and a much larger rear spoiler was available on the NA version and was standard on the Turbo II. A 5-speed manual transmission was standard, a 4-speed automatic was optional, except with the turbo engine. 4 wheel disc brakes were also standard, although Anti-Lock Brakes were only available on the Turbo, where they were standard. The RX-7 continued to be available as a 2 door, 2 passenger coupe, a 2 door four passenger coupe, and a two door convertible. The turbo engine was only available on the two passenger coupe. New rear lights which changed from the matrix of four lights on each side to the "rounded lights" on each side appeared in 1989. 1990 saw the last year of the GXL 2+2 hatchback which offered a rear seat. From 1991 on, all RX-7's were strictly two seaters. Due to the early introduction of the 1993 redesign, there were no official 1992 RX-7's.

Engines: 1.3 rotary 160 bhp @ 7000 rpm, 140 lb-ft @ 4000 rpm. 1.3 rotary turbo 200 bhp @ 7000 rpm, 196 lb-ft @ 3500 rpm.
Performance: 1.3/160: 0-60 in 7.2 seconds, 1/4 mile in 15.3 seconds @ 88 mph. 1.3t/200: 0-60 in 6.5 seconds, 1/4 mile in 14.4 seconds @ 93 mph.

1993-1995 Mazda RX-7

Comments: The third generation of the RX-7 debuted in 1993 and marked a return back to the basics. The RX-7 was only available as a two-door hatchback with a new twin-sequential turbo-charged rotary engine (13B-REW) rated at 255 bhp. Available either with a 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmission, the new RX-7 featured a driver's airbag, 4 wheel disc brakes with Anti-Lock Brakes, and a limited-slip differential as standard. Optional were two packages (that could not be ordered together): The performance minded R-1 option added dual oil coolers and body spoilers. The luxury-oriented Touring Package added leather seats, a power sunroof, Bose Speakers, and steering wheel mounted cruise control. The all new RX-7 boasted 50/50 weight distribution and weighed 190 lbs. less than the previous generation Turbo. 1994 saw minor improvements, such as a new "one touch" power down driver's window, map pockets, dual airbags, a softer suspension setting (for base and Touring editions), and a revised dashboard. Optional was the Touring package (which now featured a power steel sunroof rather than the previous glass one, the Performance package (now called R-2), and a new Popular Equipment package, which included leather seats, power sunroof, and a rear cargo cover. The Touring package was dropped for 1995, the last year of the RX-7. The RX-7 had become a true performance car, but the price increases (topping out at $36,000) sealed its fate. The RX-7 was discontinued in 1995, and the era of the rotary engine came to an end, for now.

Engines: 1.3 rotary turbo 255 bhp @ 7000 rpm, 220 lb-ft @ 5000 rpm.
Performance: 1.3t/255: 0-60 in 5.1 seconds, 1/4 mile in 14.0 seconds @ 100 mph.

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