2018 Shannons Sydney Spring Classic Auction
2002 Mazda FD3S RX7 'Spirit R' Type A Coupe (No. 561/1500)
|Engine||Twin-rotor, 1300cc twin turbo|
This lot is no longer available
Mazda is the only major automotive manufacturer to have persisted with Felix Wankel’s revolutionary rotary engine design and early models like the Cosmo, R100 and RX2/RX3 enjoy a cult following today. It took until the launch of a proper sports car, the RX-7, in 1978 for the rotary to find a chassis more suited to its high-revving characteristics; the first generation model received rave reviews and proved a commercial success, with over half a million sold. The second generation RX-7 of 1985-1991 took Mazda’s sports car further upmarket, competing with the likes of Porsche’s 944 thanks to clever technology and the first appearance of a turbo variant. When Mazda unveiled the third generation RX-7 in 1991, it was clear the model had come a long way from its humble roots, harnessing a complex sequential twin turbo system to overcome lag and deliver linear power all the way to the redline. With perfect 50:50 weight distribution achieved by locating the engine well behind the front axle, the new FD RX-7 also looked the part, with bold new styling that has only got better with age. In fact, the third generation RX-7 was a bone fide supercar, combining sublime handling, excellent braking and strong acceleration. The RX-7’s swansong was the hugely collectible Spirit R, a Japan-only model built in limited numbers using all the best bits – sold in three distinct versions, the Type A featured five-speed manual transmission and lightweight Recaro seats, the Type B added 2+2 seating configuration while the Type C came exclusively with automatic transmission. Mazda made just 1,504 Spirit Rs, of which the majority were sold in Type A guise, all in right-hand drive configuration. Nominally rated at 276 horsepower, notable features included the forged BBS 17-inch wheels, Bilstein shock absorbers, hard-type torsion LSD, cross-drilled brake rotors with red calipers and twin oil coolers, while exterior changes included special badging and the front diffuser. The Spirit R’s interior benefited from a Nardi leather steering wheel and stitched gearshifter and handbrake, silver instrument bezels and the special Kevlar Recaro seats. Seen by many as the ultimate production RX-7, values of th Spirit R have been climbing fast in recent years and Japanese sports cars of the 1990s are hotter than ever in the marketplace right now.