THE THIRD-GENERATION RX-7 COMBINED MAZDA’S MOST POWERFUL ROTARY ENGINE WITH SENSATIONAL STYLING AND EQUALLY IMPRESSIVE PERFORMANCE
The rundown on owning one of Mazda’s sweetest rotary-powered legends, the FD RX-7
’92 ’0 TO 2 MAZDA RX-7 Mazda produced 68,589 FDs
LAUNCHED IN 1992, the third-generation (FD series) RX-7 was tasked with taking Mazda’s rotary-powered performance coupe further upmarket than ever before. Featuring a twin-rotor powerplant with twin turbochargers, this new 176kW RX-7 had the right performance.
It also had the right looks, with its sensuous styling bringing an amazing amalgam of curves, swoops and dramatic statements. America’s influential Motor Trend magazine was so impressed that it awarded the RX-7 its 1993 Import Car of the Year accolade.
Even before the FD’s power output was increased to 206kW for the limited edition RZ, its performance was phenomenal, with a top speed of 251km/h and 0-100km/h in around 5.9 seconds. And yet the RX-7 remained affordable, with its base price of $73,000 making it comparable to the likes of the Nissan 300ZX ($68,404) and the Mitsubishi 3000GT ($89,950) – at a time when the 186kW Porsche 911 Carrera cost $175,120.
The RX-7 still tempts, but is it a smart buy?
Like most of the other Japanese performance cars of this era, just about all third-generation RX-7s have been modified, with numerous Aussie-based specialists offering an array of upgrades. Companies such as PAC Performance, Rotormaster and Maztech can point you in the right direction for mechanical and cosmetic upgrades.
If you crave a major increase in power, however, you should have a chat with experts such as PAC Performance about their range of engine upgrades, replacement powerplants and total custom drag-strip-ready overhauls. The sky is the limit.
For improved handling, there are various suspension mods available off the shelf. Coil-over kits with adjustable dampers, ideal for road/track use, can offer decent bang for your bucks, while a brake upgrade is also a good idea.