Number Produced: 5000
The Mazda RX7 was a practical sports car, highly competitive, and offered at a low price. Supply could not keep up with demand and many potential buyers were often offering more money above sticker price just to own one. There were initial quality problems but all issues were quickly resolved. Using a 12A rotary engine displacing 1.2 liters, it was capable of producing around 105 horsepower. Zero to sixty was accomplished in ten seconds.
The Series 2 (1981–1983) had integrated plastic-covered bumpers, wide black rubber body side moldings, wraparound taillights and updated engine control components. The GSL package provided optional four-wheel disc brakes, front ventilated (Australian model) and clutch-type rear limited slip differential (LSD). Known as the “FB” in North America after the US Department of Transportation mandated 17 digit Vehicle Identification Number changeover.
Car and Driver Review from January 1983 “Ten Best Cars”:
“The Mazda RX-7 is the car you buy when you have all the right instincts and are a person of good taste and character but you can’t afford a Porsche. The RX-7 does for this generation what the MG TD did 30 years ago, what the Datsun 240-Z did 12 years ago, and what no American-made car does yet: it provides affordable sports-coupe fun for the guy who’s buying his first new car. It’s loaded with features—coin boxes, trick radios, electric mirrors, and all the other automotive gadgets for which the Japanese are famous—its exterior is clean and purposeful, and it’s almost exactly the right size. But the rotary engine may well be the thing that makes the RX-7 such a smash hit in its target market. About the only other place you can find a 7000-rpm redline these days is at your neighborhood Ferrari dealership, and nine-second 0-to-60 times don’t exactly grow on trees either. The chassis is straightforward but thoughtfully developed, featuring a well-located live axle and high levels of ride and roadability. Not for nothing is the RX-7 the scourge of the racetrack. Mazda has perfected the polar opposite of the English two-seaters that launched the original sports-car boom in this country: an amusing and stimulating car, yet practical, and virtually without vices.”
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