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RX-7 Mazda's Rotary Engine Sports Car


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Table of Contents

Foreword 3Introduction 6Acknowledgements 6Notes on the Second Edition 7Chapter 1: A brief history of Mazda 9The Mazda marque 10Post-war growth 10The rotary revolution 11Chapter 2: Birth of the RX-7 14Wankel's dream 14Mazda and the rotary engine 15The Cosmo Sport 110S 17Other Mazda rotaries 18A harsh situation 22Project X605 23Rotary update 29X605 chassis details 31The rumour mill 32The Savanna RX-7 35The new car in America 37Chapter 3: The legend grows 43A Stateside view 45The car's impact in Britain 47The RX-7 reaches the UK 50Revival, and links with Ford 54Savanna news 56The US 1981 model year 57The 'Mk.II' in Britain 58The Elford Turbo 59Japanese specials 60American update 60The 1982 model year 61The 6PI rotary engine 621983 64Corporate news 65The Avatar 65The RX-7 goes turbocharged 66The US 1984 model year 68European update 70The home market 74End of the line 75Bowing out from Europe 75Chapter 4: The second generation 78Project P747 79A new body 79The powertrain 84Chassis details 85P747 reaches production 88The new RX-7 in Japan 88America greets the new model 91Press reaction 92The latest RX-7 in Europe 95The Turbo in the States 981987 99The RX-7 Convertible 101Other 1988 model year news 102The 1989 season 108The 1990 model year 114European update 116The US market in 1991 119Japanese specials 121End of another era 121Looking towards the future 121Chapter 5: The third generation 123A clean sheet of paper 123Establishing a concept 123The powertrain 124Chassis details 125A styling competition 129'Operation Zero' 136The new model in Japan 138The American scene 139The car's arrival in Europe 145News from Japan 148American update 149Changes for 1994 151Japanese specials 153The US 1995 model year 153The RX-01 156A sad situation 157The legend continues 159Corporate news 159The 1998 model year 160Chapter 6: The RX-7 in competition 162IMSA racing 162Mazda at Le Mans 167Racing in Britain 169Other European races 170SCCA racing 172The RX-7's WRC record 173Group B capers 173Rallying in America 174Facing reality 175Racing in Japan & Australia 176LSR attempts 177IMSA update 177SCCA news 179Chapter 7: The twilight years 180The 1999 model year 183The 1999 Tokyo Show 185Entering the new millennium 188The end of a glorious era 197RX-8 update 197Afterword by Takao Kijima 200Appendix 1: RX-7 buyer's guide 202Engine & transmission 202Suspension, steering & braking system 203Body & interior 203The best buy? 204Appendix 2: Production figures 206Index 207

About the Author

Born in Coventry, once the heart of the British motor industry, Brian Long is a professional writer with a passion for vintage and sporting machinery. With close friends in the Japanese car industry, Brian was ideally placed to write the definitive story of the Mazda RX-7, a car he holds in high regard. Brian is a member of the RJC, a committee member of the Japan Automotive Hall of Fame, a member of the Society of Automotive Historians, and a member of the Guild of Motoring Writers. He has had over 70 books published, including many works on Mazda models.Married to Miho and with two children (Louis and Sophie-Mercedes), Brian now lives just outside Tokyo, and spends much of his free time with thoroughbred horses.


Revised for the third edition, Brian Long's expertise in the Japanese car market comes into play with an exploration of Mazda's once-definitive model. Many archive images and development details have been added since the second edition, and it is truly astonishing to take in the long gestation of the RX-7 after the impact of the Cosmo. Fans of 1960s futurism, 1970s fantasy and 1980s technology will be pulled into the diversity of concepts that lead to the production cars. There's a little personal story, but for the most part this is a factual gathering of development, marketing and evolution and will delight technical enthusiasts. - Classic Car Weekly.

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