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Mazda RX-7 Ultimate Guide: Everything You Need To Know

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The Mazda RX-7 is a 90s car enthusiast’s dream. However, though this vehicle didn’t hit its stride until the 90s, it was technically born in the late 70s as Mazda’s first rotary-powered RX. 

At Classic Auto, we love to take a ride down memory lane and revisit some of the greatest vehicles ever invented. So join us as we dive into the history of the Mazda RX-7. 

Overview and History of the Mazda RX-7

Though there are many classic cars in the running, auto enthusiasts often regard the Mazda RX-7 as one of the greatest cars ever produced. The first generation of this vehicle was launched in 1978 and it quickly became something of a game changer.

This Japanese two-seater was powered by a revolutionary rotary engine and was also lightweight and practical with its rear glass hatch, making it a thoroughly modern model for its time. In fact, Mazda’s rotary engine was so successful that it later led them to be the only Japanese car manufacturer to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Little is known about the initial Mazda RX-7, but in 1984, the RX-7’s interior was redesigned with a new GSL-SE trim, which added a 1.3-liter 13 B rotary with fuel injection. This upped the horsepower to 135.

The second generation of the RX-7, known as the FC series, came in 1986. It was larger and heavier than the 84-85 FB series and took styling cues from the Porsche 944 and the Dodge Daytona. The basic model offered a 13B-VDEI producing 146 hp, but there was also a Turbo II model, which produced a whopping 182 hp that became available in 1987. 

In 1988, a convertible RX-7 debuted, and in 89 a more lightweight, performance-oriented GTU model was released. The third and final generation of the Mazda RX-7 came in the 90s.

In 1993, the FD series was launched, which boasted elegant and organic styling, and more power (255 hp) from a turbocharged twin-rotor 13B 1.3-liter engine. Unfortunately, a weak economy and an escalating MSRP led to the demise of the RX-7s third generation, with the final model year being 1995. 

Though it didn’t live past the 90s, the Mazda RX-7 had a good run while it lasted and it was an extremely successful model in the world of motorsports. The first racing versions finished 1-2 in class and the 1979 24 Hours of Daytona. 

The RX-7 also won IMSA’s GTU racing class seven years in a row and won the IMSA’s GTO championship ten years in a row. 

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How Much Does a Mazda RX-7 Cost?

If you’re wondering — how much is a Mazda RX-7 — you’ll not find a definitive answer. If you come across a model, the price will depend on the specs and the condition that the car is in. 

Mazda sold over 330,000 first-generation RX-7s, over 160,000 second-generation RX-7s, and only 13,879 of the third generation. As such, the third-generation RX-7 is rare and thus is considered highly collectible and will often fetch a higher price at auctions. 

Generally speaking, however, a first or second-generation RX-7 will likely start at a few thousand dollars and can run past $10,000. Third-generation models will start at around $15,000 and can run past $50,000. 

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How Many Rotors Does an RX-7 Have?

Rotary-powered engines are capable of producing more power compared to piston-based engines due to fewer instances of combustion. Rotary engines also allow for a more lightweight and compact engine that is capable of withstanding huge power, which is what made the Mazda RX-7 so popular, especially as a racing vehicle. 

Traditionally, the Mazda RX-7 13B engine had two rotors. However, owners have been known to replace the old engine with new ones with even more rotors. The racing models, in particular, are known to have more than just two rotors. 

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Is the Mazda RX-7 Legal in the US?

Yes. All RX-7 models that were originally sold in the U.S. are still legal. International models that were sold before 1995 are also legal for import under the 25-year federal regulation. However, not all states allow them to be driven on the streets. 

Will Mazda Bring Back the RX-7?

Do they still make RX-7s? Technically, no. Mazda has not released any new RX-7s since they stopped U.S. production of the model in the 90s. However, with the revival of the NSX and the Supra, there have been rumors that the RX-7 is coming next.

Still, these are only rumors and nothing has been confirmed. The issue is that turbochargers and rotary engines do not comply with the latest emissions standards. For now, all we can do is wait with our fingers crossed that all of the concept images that have been floating around the internet will eventually come to fruition. 

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Protect Your Mazda RX-7 with Classic Auto Insurance

Whether you drive a classic Mazda RX-7 or are a collector of other classic vehicles, you’ll need the right kind of insurance to protect your piece of history. At Classic Auto Insurance, we offer excellent coverage on classic, vintage, sport, and luxury cars and work with each client individually to determine the worth of their particular vehicle to find a plan best suited to their needs. 

If you need insurance for your classic car, you can request a quote here today. We are also available by phone at 888-901-1338. We are happy to answer any questions you may have about our policies and are ready to help you take the next steps toward preserving your prized vehicle. 

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