Mazda's RX-7 Spirit R is the ultimate final edition
During its astounding 24-year-long run, the Mazda RX-7 came in three separate styles: the SA/FB, FC and FD. The wedgy styling of the first two generations went out the window when the curvaceous FD debuted in 1991, but it only lasted here until 1995 when slow sales and a losing exchange rate forced Mazda to stop offering its Wankel wonder.
Known for its handling and light weight, the last RX-7 had a sequentially turbocharged 1.3-liter rotary, which didn’t have to work too hard to throw the car around. A gentleman’s agreement among Japanese auto manufacturers capped output at 276 hp; without putting one of these Spirit R RX-7’s on a dyno, it’s hard to say if Mazda honored that agreement, but it’s safe to say the FD RX-7’s competition, the Toyota Supra and Nissan Skyline GT-R, did not.
Since the RX-7 was out of the U.S. market by the time the last 1500 Spirit R’s rolled off the line, there aren’t many left-hand drive cars — in fact, the total is exactly one. Apparently, an executive at Mazda wanted one of these track weapons and had the Spirit R parts added to a left-hand drive RX-7.
Watch this classic unicorn carve up canyon roads in the video above. The driver, Motor Trend’s Carlos Lago, doesn’t push this RX as hard as you’d see on “Initial D,” but you get a good sense for its road-going prowess.