Three generations of the RX-7! (and a Spirit R for an extra)
Yes, with the very first generation of the Mazda RX-7 (designated as SA22C) arrived on Forza Motorsport 4 via the April Alpinestars Pack, all three generations of the Mazda RX-7, from SA22C to FD3S, are now complete. Those JDM fanatics in Forza 4 are pleased to getting to know more about three different generations of the Mazda RX-7, from Savanna to Efini, all the way to the final Spirit R model that commemorates the end of the RX-7 since summer 2002. We still kinda prefer this more than the least successful RX-8, which was scheduled to end in the summer of this year.
Now, if you were a Filipino who remembered some classic Japanese super sentai when you were a kid, you would remember that this car was featured on a very classic Japanese super sentai titled SHAIDER. It was driven by Annie, Alexis' companion. Alexis, who was Shaider, drove a Suzuki Jimny/Samurai by the way while patrolling around Japan against incoming alien invaders. This car made me feel like I went for some "TIME SPACE WARP" but no. We're not talking about Shaider, I went DOCTOR WHO-ing with the TARDIS back to the Shaider years. He he he... TARDIS...He he he...Back on the SA22C. When I drive this first generation RX-7, it feels like I'm Annie but no, I'm not playing as Shaider's trusty companion. This car is all about the finesse and an average driver's childhood memories won't be the same.
About the SA22C, this was launched in Japan since March 1978 under the name "SAVANNA RX-7". It was made using Mazda's SA Platform and it was powered by a 12A 2-rotor engine. During the oil crisis in the 1970's, Mazda developed a combustion exhaust gas thermal reactor system called REAPS, which provided 40% fuel efficiency than others but however, in 1979, that thermal reactor has been ditched and the 12A 2-rotor engine comes with lean-burn mechanisim, and the design of the front skirt and tail lights has been changed. Then, in 1982, changes occurred on the engine that provides fuel economy of 10.2km/L based on Japan's 10 mode.
What's surprisingly about the SA22C is the design because it looks more like the Porsche 924, hence dubbing this car as "Poor Man's Porsche". You wouldn't believe that the Japanese copied the design derived from the Germans but hey! It was worth it!
And now, let's meet the other RX-7's that you would normally get on Forza 4. Now, let's advance it to the FC3S, which is more of a working man's RX-7. However, this was one of my favorites.
Fans of the INITIAL D franchise will remember the FC3S as Ryosuke Takahashi's car of choice. In Wangan Midnight, this car referred to as "THE LEGENDARY FC", which became the car of choice of Koichi Kijima upon his sudden encounter with the FC3S on the highway. Anyway, the FC3S is more of a working man's RX-7. It still retains the Savanna RX-7 naming but now, it was utilized using Mazda's FC platform. It was launched in Japan since 1985 and later went a minor change in 1989. It's still a "Poor Man's Porsche" because it looks more reminiscent of the Porsche 944. Firstly in 1985, the FC3S comes with a 2-rotor 13B turbocharged engine that produces 185PS of power, then in the 1989 minor change, that engine now produces 215PS of power. In 1987, a Cabriolet version was launched in commemoration of the rotary engine's 20th anniversary. The production know-how of the FC3C was adopted for the first car under Mazda's Eunos brand, the Eunos Roadster.
In 1991, the FC3S underwent a full model change and now referred as FD3S, the best and last RX-7 ever made for the hardcore enthusiasts...
The Savanna naming is gone and it's now referred to as "Efini RX-7", part of Mazda's Efini brand. The FD3S comes with a 13B sequential turbo rotary engine that churns out 255PS of power and the power to weight ratio is 5kg/ps.
In August 1993, the FD3S was updated with enhanced body rigidity, larger damper and revised suspension settings.
In January 1996, the Ẽfini RX-7 name has been renamed as "Mazda RX-7". The car's CPU has been upgraded from 8-bit to 16-bit, providing 265PS of power for the MT model and 255PS for the AT model.
There are more updates occured on the FD3S right until 2002 when the RX-7 production was ended, with 68,589 units produced.
Road & Track magazine said "The ace in Mazda's sleeve is the RX-7, a car once touted as the purest, most exhilarating sports car in the world."
In Initial D, this FD3S served as Keisuke Takahashi's car of choice.
So, 2002 was the final year of the RX-7 but to commemorate its last days of a rotary legend, Mazda launched a special final edition model dubbed as SPIRIT R.
Among other cars, the RX-7 Spirit R is a unicorn car on Forza Motorsport 4. Doesn't matter because you might obtain it via Profile Import when this is the first time you're playing Forza Motorsport 4. Anyway, the Spirit R is the last special edition RX-7 made and only 1000 units are available. There are three types of Spirit R; the Type A features a 5-speed MT and red Recaro seats. Type B is a 2+2 seater that comes with a 5MT. The Type C is also a 2+2 seater but comes with a 4AT. One of three types is probably the best type and that is none other than the TYPE A. Mazda said that the Spirit R Type A is the ultimate RX-7, boasting the most outstanding driving performance in its history.
And there we are. All three generations of the Mazda RX-7 and the special Spirit R that marks the rotary sports car's end in 2002, what would you ask for? We kinda prefer those more than the crappy RX-8 and those packed more respect to the JDM enthusiasts. So, if you have the devil's gift, which three generations of the RX-7 is your pick?
Time to give these RX-7's a run at the Top Gear Test Track!
In the end, turns out that the Spirit R is the best RX-7 ever made...