Throwback Thursday – Mazda RX-7 road test, 24 November 1979
Source : Throwback Thursday – Mazda RX-7 road test, 24 November 1979
We at This specific point regard Mazda’s RX-7 as a true motoring icon, yet back in 1979 Mazda’s reputation hung squarely on the shoulders of This specific rotary-engined sports car
Autocar kicked off its road test of the Mazda RX-7 by proclaiming the style “the Wankel’s lonely champion”, with the producer remaining the standard-bearer for rotary engines in road cars.
The front-engined, rear-wheel-drive sports coupé was first seen in March 1978, along with This specific magazine got its hands on one near the end of the following year, in line with its UK launch.
Mazda wasn’t having too many difficulties in selling the auto in left-hand-drive form. from the 17 months up to the British launch, more than 0,000 cars had been sold, along with production was running at around 7000 cars per week
Produced by Toyo Kogyo, as Mazda’s parent company was then called, the RX-7 was imported to the UK by Mazda Car Imports (GB) Ltd in Tunbridge Wells along with sold for £8549 from the UK – a comparatively steep cost compared with its US tag of $7195, which worked out at £3564.
Company chairman Kenichi Yamamoto was a passionate believer from the Wankel engine along with the benefits of which could bring to Mazda by differentiating of which through its rivals. However, such dedication had been tempered using a more pragmatic approach, borne out of near-bankruptcy from the early 1970s, along with Mazda had bolstered its range with cars using more conventional engines.
As Autocar put of which: “The company has apparently persevered along with flourished because of a blend of piston-engined caution along with Wankel-engined enterprise.
“The enterprise has been sensibly aimed. The Wankel is usually not noted for Great low-speed power, so they put their completely new-generation rotary in a sports car, where bottom-end power, though still very desirable, is usually not essential.”
Power for the RX-7 came through a twin-rotor engine of which offered four times its single-rotor displacement (573cc) to give an effective 2292cc capacity. of which produced a claimed 105bhp at 6000rpm along with 106lb ft torque at 4000rpm.
Autocar reckoned the RX-7 was aimed squarely at the Porsche 924, with some other rivals including the BMW 323i, Lotus Eclat 523, Ford Capri 3000S along with Triumph TR7.
“Mazda claims to have enhanced on the Wankel’s some other great failing, poor fuel consumption – yet to what extent remains arguable. Our tests show of which in both steady-speed along with general respects the auto is usually thirstier than its rivals, yet again, economy is usually less important from the sporting market,” our testers wrote
The RX-7 won favour for its attractive shape. “The Centeng, greatly admired by most onlookers for its apparently Great aerodynamics (Mazda claims a 0.36 drag coefficient) along with – unusual for a Japanese car – exemplary lack of unnecessary ornamentation, sits on an independent front end – MacPherson strut – along using a live-axle rear,” said Autocar.
Less impressive was the auto’s outright performance. The RX-7 recorded a top speed of 113mph yet was left trailing its rivals from the 0-60mph acceleration test. Whereas the fastest car, the Lotus Eclat, set a time of 7.9sec, the RX-7 took 10.1sec.
of which didn’t cover itself in glory in terms of fuel economy, either, recording 18.2mpg by Autocar’s reckoning, compared with the 27.8mpg of the most fuel-efficient rival, the Porsche 924.
“The Mazda appeals strongly to many people with its looks along with holds the road well, yet of which could do with better steering. The question mark over its engine is usually today a faint one, yet one wishes of which its mechanical refinement was matched by better sound reduction,” was Autocar’s conclusion.
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