Engine

The Mazda RX-7 Was Pure Rotary Greatness

It may just be one of the all-time great affordable sports cars.

For years there was nothing quite like it out there because few automakers had the balls to build a rotary-engined mass market sports car. But Mazda dared to be different and was awarded for doing so. The Mazda RX-7 was launched in 1978 with a twin-rotor Wankel rotary engine and rear-wheel-drive. It found a fan base immediately. Its rear seats were tiny as they were never really intended for human occupancy. But the RX-7 was a blast to drive and was heralded for being a pure sports coupe.

It underwent complete redesigns in 1986 and 1991, remaining on sale until 2002. It was succeeded by the RX-8, but it’s the RX-7 that has the larger fan base. There’s still rumors swirling about a potential new RX-7 in the works, rotary and all, but Mazda is still working to find a business case for it. Let’s hope the numbers add up in its favor.

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