Posted Jan 19th 2012 4:00PM
Ahh, the 93-95 Mazda RX-7. What fond memories I had of the car being totally fascinated by its lines and totally terrified by its performance. It was a highly-advanced featherweight that basically had the car world saying "dang, I ain't never seen one of them fancy foreign cars before."
A bit on the late side to the Japanese supercar party, the FD3S chassis was about to squash any success its predecessor the FC3S had carved out. It was well received by the automotive press but not so much by the public who couldn't justify a lowly Mazda that cost more than most sports cars. After the public had spoken, it went away but did you know the car never really went away in Japan?
Nope, the FD3S was manufactured from 1992 until... are you ready for this, August 2002! The Japanese enthusiasts have been fixated on this car and it continued to develop over the years along with several special models. As a result, the aftermarket has had a two decade old love affair with the twin-turbo 1.3L Rotary beast. The 3rd gen RX-7 has been made immortal on the: streets, tracks and mountains throughout the world and as seen at Tokyo Auto Salon 2012, it is still a big draw for the crowds there!
TAS 2012 featured some outrageous builds including the silver Super NA7 from renowned RX-7 tuner RE-Amemiya that was barely recognizable from its original form. RE-Amemiya also collaborated on the orange Porsche-like conversion with parts superstore SuperAutoBACS and tuner TODA. RE-Amemiya also rolled out several of the Super-G street cars that we can't get enough of including a 700 hp all carbon street car that was left-hand drive built for a customer overseas.
Scoot also had their extensive bodywork modifications on a silver FD which polarize the crowd on it's Corvette-inspired look. But under the hood everyone agreed that the Scoot 4-rotor engine was a marvel to behold. As for cars that prove it at the track, we saw the FEED FD involved in the Tsukuba Super Lap Battle and tucked away was the Red RE-Wing RX-7 that is cranking out 57-second lap times at Tsukuba cicuit! A fast time no doubt but what the real shocker is that it looks like a street car and still has plates.
Rumour has it that tuner RE-Amemiya isn't bringing an FD to TAS 2013, so this might mark the beginning of the end for the long fascination with the RX-7 in Japan.