Rotary engine is turbocharged within an inch of its life.
When most people think of Mazda, they probably envision level-headed, middle-class people driving their soccer-kid-friendly CX-3s to work and back. But Mazda has a long history of building record-breaking cars, such as the legendary Mazda MX-5, or the rotary-powered RX-7. We've covered some awesomely fast Mazda cars, including Rob Dahm's four and three rotor machines, but those cars still need to be dialed in. Not this little terror.
The car you see in front of you just set the top speed record for a rotary-powered dragster on radials at Sydney Dragway in Australia, during testing for the 2021 Sydney Jamboree. With a trap speed of 201.16 mph, it makes this little monster the first rotary-powered car on radials to pass the 200-mph mark.
This drag build is based on the humble Mazda RX-3, which saw great success in Australia due to the country's close proximity to Japan. We got it here in the US, but it was called the Mazda 808 and didn't feature the rotary engine.
When these little cars first came out, people were amazed at the levels of performance offered by the Wankel rotary engines, and they soon became an Australian legend. This highly-tuned drag car still sports a rotary, but with a gigantic turbo system strapped to it, a gutted interior, and a set of massive drag radials poking out the back.
In the video driver Andrew Zed does a couple of 7-second passes at around 190 mph. Right before heading into the qualifying section he managed a 7.03 second run with a record-setting trap speed of 201.16 mph. That's insane, but what is even harder to believe is that his car isn't the quickest Mazda RX-3 around. That honor belongs to a similar RX-3 that ran 6.63 seconds at 210 mph on full slicks. Imagine driving over 200 mph in a tin can that was designed to get your grandmother to church.