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Mazda RX-7 (1986 - 1991)

Last updated 19 September 2013

Good-looking sports car with a smooth, strong rotary engine
Specialist maintenance means it isn't cheap to run, short runs damage the rotor seals


The second generation Mazda RX-7, known as the FC and sold as a Savanna in Japan. featured all-new styling stole a lot of cues from the Porsche 924 and 928, and managed to look more substantial without growing in size, and only adding an extra 50kg in weight. As before, it was powered by rotary, and the fuel-injected 13B-VDEI produced 146bhp. A year after launch, the turbocharged model was introduced, boosting power to 182bhp, and upping the maximum speed to almost 150mph.

Although the RX-7 was designed primarily for the USA, it was also highly competitive against its rivals from Porsche. Certainly, its light and compact engine, and gearbox package bestowed the car with 50/50 weight distribution. It gave safer handling thanks to new rear suspension, and sharper steering from rack-and-pinion instead of recirculating ball. The revised ‘13A’ engine kicks out more power – especially in the Turbo version that became available in the UK from 1988 was boosted to 200bhp. The following year a convertible was added to the range, though these are harder to find.

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