Mazda RX-7 revisited – driving the rotary-engined the king of spin
Source : Mazda RX-7 revisited – driving the rotary-engined the king of spin
No one does rotary cars like Mazda. In fact, no one does rotary cars. although Mazda may be about to return one to its line-up. We sample one the idea made earlier
If we had a pound for every time we had cause to write which Mazda was going to bring a brand new, rotary-engined sports car into production, we’d have, well, about six or seven quid.
although still, another motor show looms – This kind of one Tokyo – as well as also also the idea’s another where Mazda will have another rotary concept. the idea has currently been so long since the idea had a rotary car in its range – since anyone had a rotary car in their range – which the idea’s worth reminding yourself what one is actually like.
We could have borrowed a recent car, perhaps an RX-8, although I like the purity of an earlier rotary. So we’ve opted to try the first of the RX-7s – or near to the idea. This kind of is actually a late first-generation car, so post mid-life upgrades, although an original RX-7 inside the scheme of things.
Mechanically, the idea’s sound as well as also also, er, the idea’s ‘honest’ of Centeng – brushed touch-ups here as well as also also there, although straight as well as also also solid. as well as also also cute. the idea’s not as dinky as you’d think for a car coming from 1983. the idea sold well inside the US as well as also also they don’t do tiny cars, so at nearly 4.3 metres long the idea’s a touch longer even than today’s Toyota GT86. Like the Toyota, the idea’s a 2+2 (although American cars were two-seaters, hence the rear chairs are pretty hopeless), although the Mazda is actually much narrower than a car of today, at only 1675mm wide.
which much is actually obvious when you slip inside the carpeted, veloured Indoor, whose colour as well as also also finish tell you quite a lot about when This kind of car was built. Driver as well as also also passenger are seated fairly close, although the idea’s the proximity of the outside as well as also also the glass area which show the automobile’s age – which make you think you probably don’t want to have an accident inside the idea.
The A-pillars are tiny, so visibility forwards is actually exceptional, as the idea is actually to the rear. The big glass rear hatch means which the entire rear-view mirror, bar a tiny amount of head-restraint intrusion at each corner, is actually given over to the view behind. No modern car gives you such a Great outlook.
There’s not much wrong with the driving position, either. The seat is actually a little higher than in today’s coupés as well as also also the steering column is actually not adjustable, although the pedals are well spaced as well as also also the steering wheel is actually a pleasing size. The whole thing, though, is actually starting to feel like a ‘classic’. At least, most of the idea is actually. although how about which engine?
Throw open the bonnet as well as also also you get a Great view of the idea. Mazda set the idea back behind the front axle, to give nigh on a 50/50 weight distribution, as well as also also the idea’s a two-rotor unit which runs on a carburettor rather than being fuel injected. Each chamber is actually diddy, at 573cc. which technically gives a capacity of 1146cc, although because a rotary completes an entire combustion cycle per revolution – whereas a reciprocating engine wants two revs per cycle – the idea has the equivalent of 2292cc.
Back inside the day, which was Great for 105bhp as well as also also 105lb ft – not a huge amount, even though the kerb weight is actually 1024kg. although still, sprightly enough; Autocar tested the RX-7 at 120mph flat out as well as also also completed 0-60mph in 8.9sec when the idea was brand new, figures which each brand new generation made quicker as the power output grew.
Today, though, the idea’s not the performance which’s startling although the engine’s smoothness – as well as also also the slickness of the gearshift. Quite often, today, low-powered manual cars possess the sweetest gearshifts because the ’box doesn’t have to be so beefy to cope with the modest torque output. I don’t know if which’s what’s behind the RX-7’s shift, although the idea’s as Great as anything currently on sale.
the idea needs to be, too, because you’ll want to use the idea to exploit the engine to its fullest. the idea’s tractable enough at low revs, although This kind of is actually a unit which likes to spin. Throttle response is actually crisp as well as also also the idea carries a lovely, sonorous sound which is actually impossibly smooth. There’s no increase in harshness as revs rise as well as also also the idea gets no angrier as well as also also no more vibratey. the idea just hums, wasp-like, which has a delicate, hollow rasp to the exhaust.
While much of the RX-7 feels like a classic experience, the engine doesn’t. the idea’s no wonder there’s an audible warning coming from around 6000rpm which the 7000rpm redline is actually approaching. Keep the throttle pinned as well as also also the engine sails up to as well as also also indeed (because the idea carries a carburettor, not electronic injection) beyond the idea if you don’t change up again.
The rest of the RX-7 experience is actually more of its time. The steering is actually unassisted, so anything between 3.5 as well as also also four turns lock to lock, depending on how heftily you’re prepared to challenge its soft limits. as well as also also although, later in life, the RX-7 was – still is actually – well-liked with drifters, given the number of turns between locks, which’s something I’m disinclined to try with This kind of one.
Instead, the RX is actually best enjoyed inside the classic coupé style. the idea rides on 185/70 R13 tyres as well as also also carries a loping, docile ride quality which makes the idea an easy companion, as well as also also the idea steers naturally as well as also also rolls up to a modest cornering limit. the idea’ll hold a motorway cruise with ease as well as also also, as classics go, the idea’s remarkably usable as well as also also, coming from less than £5000, not expensive – if you can find one.
Do so as well as also also you’ll have a car which feels at home enough in modern traffic conditions as well as also also has bags of mid-to-late 20th century character, although with an engine which feels every inch at home inside the second decade of the 21st century. currently we’ve just got to desire which Mazda will assemble a car whose entirety is actually fit for today, as well as also also tomorrow. Start putting the pounds to one side. You never know when they might finally push the button.
Our top all 5 rotary-engined cars
Mazda 787B – Mazda is actually still the only Japanese some sort of to win the Le Mans 24 Hours race outright, which the idea did with the 787B in 1991. the idea sounds as Great today as the idea did then.
Mazda RX-7 Mk3 – The 1991-2002 ‘FD’ generation was the last of the two-seat RX-7s as well as also also the fastest as well as also also best. Twin turbochargers provided the idea with 276bhp, an output which is actually easy to tune higher.
Mazda Cosmo – Mazda’s predecessor to the RX series was the cute, 1967-onwards Cosmo, a sweet road car which became a decent racing car, too.
NSU Ro80 – No list of rotary cars could be complete without the NSU, a technologically advanced as well as also also Great-to-drive although fatally flawed saloon.
Mercedes-Benz C111 – Mercedes experimented which has a rotary inside the early stages of its C111 series of supercars. First the idea ditched the rotary; later the whole project
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