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8 things we love about the Mazda RX-7 FD (2 reasons we’d never buy one)

Mazda Rx-7 FD

One of the very popular car manufacturers from the land of the rising sun, Mazda is known for its compact cars that offer great performance without breaking the bank. In Mazda’s incredible automotive history, the RX7 FD has managed to capture the minds and hearts of gearboxes around the world. There aren’t many JDM cars that capture the imagination like the Mazda RX7 FD.



Be it popular video games like Need for speedor mainstream Hollywood movies like The Fast and The Furiousthe RX7 rose to prominence with the rise of tuner culture and a growing love of JDM cars in the 1990s and early 2000s. Although the production cycle of the RX7 FD came to an end in 2002, very shortly after the turn of the century, still remains popular on the second hand market and continues to receive love from gearboxes.

This love that the Mazda RX7 FD dedicates is not at all unjustified, because there has always been a lot going on. There’s a lot to love about the car, and while the car remains timelessly impressive, it’s not completely flawless. In that vein, here are 8 things we love about the Mazda RX-7 FD, and 2 reasons why we wouldn’t take one home.


10 What we love: The Mazda RX-7 FD is truly a tuner car

Mazda made their RX7 FD model very easy to customize, thanks to the fairly simple bodywork of their engine. This also made it one of the most popular cars in the tuning world. Modifiers have a lot of room to play with, and some even took the engine to new heights by making it produce a ridiculous 1000 horsepower.

The RX8 FD is one of the most modular Japanese sports cars ever made, which makes tuning very easy and a lot of fun. The low-slung design and light chassis make it a great car to improve and tune. There are also those who would rather have played with the RX7 and turned it into a drift car for better usability on the track.


9 What we love: it remains affordable to this day

Mazda is known for high-performance sports cars that remain affordable, and the RX7 was no exception. When Mazda released the RX7 FD, base price of the car was about $30,000, which was an absolute bargain for a ride that performed just as well as the RX7. Customers managed to get a very enjoyable ride that didn’t break the bank and offered power, fun and, most importantly, rarity.

While you may have to pay a little for the models that today have never been modified or tuned and are becoming increasingly rare, it still remains a good deal because of the exclusivity that the Mazda RX7 FD brings. After all, the car has been the epitome of affordable performance for so many years.

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8 What we love: The Mazda RX-7 continues to appreciate

It is widely known that the RX7 was received and cherished a lot better than its successor, the RX8. This also means that, despite being more modern, the RX8’s value has continued to fall due to its lukewarm reception. On the other hand, for all the things it’s done, the RX 7 FD has continued to appreciate in value.

A classic JDM legend whose appeal and value only go one way, the Mazda RX7 FD is a car you can take home, drive for a few years until you’re happy and satisfied, then sell for the same price you got. paid years ago if not more than what you paid for it!


7 What we love: It brought sequential turbocharging to the masses

The Mazda RX7 FD is such an indelible part of the automotive industry for a reason. One of the biggest technical developments for the FD RX7 was the sequential turbocharger, which was ahead of its time in terms of performance and the way the engine delivered power to the wheels.

A second-stage turbo also eliminated the turbo lag, and while it was Porsche that achieved this feat beforehand, it was the Mazda RX7 FD that managed to deliver this technology to mass production cars. The RX7 FD was the car that brought sequential turbocharger to the masses without absolutely wrecking their pockets.

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6 What we love: The FD RX-7 had a lot more power than its successor, the RX-8

How come gearboxes always seem to favor the FD RX7 over its successor, the Mazda RX-8? Anyway, the RX8 should have been the better car, more refined and more powerful. However, that was not the case. When the RX7 FD went into production it made 255 horsepower and in the last year, although it was no longer sold in the US, it made almost 280 horsepower.

On the other hand, the RX-8’s Renesis engine only managed to put out 212 horsepower for its automatic variant, and the manual transmission setting was tuned to deliver 232 horsepower. There was also no sequential turbocharger on the newer RX8 to keep affordability high, meaning it was naturally aspirated unlike the RX7’s 13B turbo engine.


5 What we love: the timeless design of the FD Mazda RX-7

The car market was dominated by the wedge shape in the 1980s. However, in the 1990s everything was rounded off and sharp edges were softened. While that may not have worked out well for most 90s cars, Mazda somehow managed to come up with a great, timeless design for the RX7, and it was a success.

The lines of the FD Mazda RX7 seem to flow from front to back, making it a beautifully sleek sports car to look at. Plus, there was practicality in its beauty too, with its low-slung and aerodynamic shape making it great for drag racing. To this day, automotive design has come a long way, but the Mazda RX7 FD’s timeless design and appeal make it one of the most sought-after classics, and for good reason. This one is an absolute neck-breaker wherever it goes.

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4 What we love: The RX-7’s 13B rotary motor was a beast

The Mazda RX7’s 13B REW rotary engine was a great engine and a labor of thirty years of love. Representing Mazda’s three entire decades of research and development, it was the absolute pinnacle of rotary engine technology. Today, it can even be tuned to deliver 500 horsepower, albeit at the cost of engine life.

To this day there is a huge aftermarket for this engine and its parts, and it is a testament to Mazda’s engineering prowess and what they have accomplished with the 13B engine. Its successor, the Renesis engine for the RX-8, may have been a reworked 13B engine, but it never matched performance as emissions standards tightened and Mazda phased out the rotary engine altogether shortly afterwards.


3 What we love: Mazda RX-7’s great racing pedigree

Mazda tasted a lot of racing success thanks to the RX7. In the twilight of its development phase, the Mazda RX7 stood for all 100 wins achieved in the International Motor Sports Associationn. The RX-7 FD came along with all that racing pedigree that gave a sense of heightened pride in owning one of these cars.

In addition, it was also Mazda’s rotary engine that had brought Mazda’s greatest success. The Japanese brand won their one and only Le Mans race with their 787B car who had stitched together not one, but two 13B rotary engines.

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2 Why we don’t buy one: Mazda RX-7’s maintenance issues

Anyone who has ever heard of the Mazda RX-7 has also heard of the dreaded Apex seals of the car. They are widely regarded as the weakest link in the otherwise very impressive rotary engine. In fact, almost all RX-7 owners have always encountered this problem and had to resort to rebuilding the engine to fix the problem, which usually costs around $2,000.

The car’s cooling system is also a problem area that owners should keep an eye on. Also, while there are a lot of good things on the table, the 13B engine does devour a lot of oil, which means you have to constantly check and maintain your oil level to keep the car running properly, otherwise it would be difficult to keep running.


1 Why we don’t buy one: The FD RX-7 doesn’t have the best fuel economy

The fuel consumption of a car is no longer something that we can just brush away, with the rising gas prices. That said, the Mazda RX-7 doesn’t make much sense as a daily driver anymore because of its unimpressive fuel economy of 15 MPG in the city and a combined economy of 18 MPG on both the manual and automatic variants.

With hybrid engines and fully electric vehicles taking center stage, the combustion engine will soon be a thing of the past. Even then, there are plenty of petrol engines – and that includes Japanese cars if you’re a JDM purist – that are far more fuel efficient than the current Mazda RX7 FD.