The Mazda rx-7 and now rx-8 are well known as very capable sports cars. The rx-3 led way to what became the rx-7 powered by a 12b rotary engine. The 12b stands for 1.2 liters of displacement as the 13b stands for 1.3 liters. All rx-7′s came with a rotary engine and were 2 seater cars. The rotary engine works completely different than a conventional piston otto cycle engine.
Felix Wankel a German genius came up with a mathematical way to transfer the energy of combustion directly into a moving part instead of using pistons, connecting rods and a crankshaft. This engine ,called a rotary engine, could be made very compact and lightweight. Mazda being a very weight conscious company was looking for a small powerful engine and decided on the rotary. The rx-7 was a hit as people loved the styling, handling, and loved the very smooth almost electric feel of the engine. The first generation (gen) cars had a style of their own and even with solid rear axles still handled well. The second gen rx-7 weighed slightly more but had a sportier independant suspension. Many people thought this car looked similar or copied the Porsche 944, but it clearly had it’s own look. The 2nd gen rx-7′s now only came with the 13b engine unlike the base 12b in the first gen cars. The 13b engine was now fuel injected as of 1986 and had a high performance single turbo option called the turbo 2 model. The turbo 2 model had the larger 16″ rims and sportier suspension and power went from 140 hp to 180 hp. The 1989-1992 model made 160 hp stock and the turbo 2 made 200 hp. In 1993 the 3rd generation model came about. Many thought the styling was incredible and had some traits of the dodge viper. There were two different models one for race and one for street due to different suspensions and brakes. The engines only came in one configuration, a twin turbo 13 b engine that produced 255 hp! This car has been called one of the best handling cars to have ever been made. With simple bolt on parts these cars could make well over 300 horsepower. The rx-8 has taken over where the rx-7 left off. The rx-8 engine is a much cleaner version of the 13b now called the renesis. In the same way that it cleans up emissions and saves gas it also makes 250 horsepower. It makes this kind of power without the use of turbos and keeps the heat under the hood to a minimum. The last rx-7 had some reliability issues due to the twin turbo’s excessive heat. The rx-8 also addressed another idea but making a sports car that can comfortably seat four passengers in a small area. The small renesis is part of the reason that they can do this. The rx-8 is still a incredible handling sports car that can comfortably seat four yet feel like a two seat sports car. While all these cars are great there is talk of another rx-7 being produced again, which should make tons of power! Can’t wait to see!