If you live in Swindon and are involved in the car culture here in one way or another this car will instantly be familiar to you. It’s fantastic bright blue paintwork and huge yellow greddy sticker down the side, complimented by its fat rear wing suggest this car is a little bit serious.
To those of you in to the general modified car culture in the uk, especially the Japanese performance car and drifting scene…yes you have seen this car before in Banzai magazine among others, but I mean…just look at it! – look out to your driveway now, if you can’t imagine this sat there with the keys on your desk right now..go seek help.
Alot of people that just have a casual interest in cars will think this is a very nicely modified Mazda rx-7 turbo. But to those that are into the drift scene and drifting culture in Japan, this car has a bit of a cult status.
It was one of the star cars when the professional drift series in japan was starting to get a foothold and was becoming fast recognised as a proper professional motorsport and not a ton of kids hooning cars around sideways everywhere. The focus was also trying to get it off of the mountains and industrial estates in japan- basically trying to get rid of the “underground” image.
At the time track days in general were becoming really popular, low cost and fun. Another bi-product of this rapid growth was lots of drift practice day’s as well.
When Re amemiya competed in the series the focus was still on keeping the cars street legal so they had to have full interiors and pass all the usual road safety regulations. This lead to a very long period of development from 2004 to 2006 and raising awareness among the booming drift culture of the time.
I personally feel this was when the D1 series was at its best, because the cars were lary, but this strict road legal set of rules, in essence created a very level playing ground. So even little 86 corollas and old skool Celica’s etc could stand their ground against more modern, sophisticated machinery, such as this re amemiya rx7. It also led to incredible engine conversions and some very interesting modifications. It spawned alot of ingenuity among competitors.
So why build a replica of such an icon? … Well why not? It is a stunning looking car to say the least and it has incredible presence on the road and an unbelievable wow factor when parked or stood still. It really is a car you have to see in the flesh to appreciate all the various details and stickers; you also absolutely have to hear it, more on that in a bit.
The other cool thing about building a replica of such a high profile car in such a unique motorsport is the kind of knowing nod and admiration you get from people in the know and into the drift culture.
This is where it gets even more impressive … because when you compare this greddy rx-7 replica to the real thing. It’s indistinguishable. When I first met the owner my first question was whether it was the actual real car. Did he import it? It’s that good.
The sound. The sound… it’s stunning and loud would be an understatement. The rotary engine generally has a very distinct sound due to the nature of the engine, then when it’s tuned it really comes to life. It’s a very visceral noisy car, and it doesn’t seem to have any limits to how loud it can go. As the car builds through the rev range it just grows, then you get the sound of the turbo spooling and external wastegate doing its thing as well, not alot compares. The car pretty much howls.
This greddy rx7 in a built up area just sounds epic. The acoustics are perfect as it echoes and ricochets between the buildings down a street. Its spine tingling and awesome, there’s no other way to put it. When the car is just idling as well, it resonates through your body and nearby objects, its like a very steady, minute vibration when your close to it. Sound alone makes this car special and adds to its undeniable presence.
It helps you to imagine how well it drives, but when you actually get in it. It’s quite hard to get used to how quick it really is, especially if you haven’t been in many other powerful cars. My first experience of this car was when it had around 4-500bhp, but it has since had a new turbo setup installed, so it’s just a case of running it in now before turning the boost back up again. But in it’s current state of tune at about 356 bhp, it’s certainly still quick enough to see almost anything off on the road!
The acceleration is smooth and predictable, yet it’s still enough to push you into the back of your seat in all the gears. The free-revving characteristics of the rotary engine really are what makes this car, and due to that, when your foot is flat down, you don’t notice the turbo lag at all, it really is quite a case of point and shoot. This is where the big bodykit , aero package and intension chassis development come into play.
Yes the FEED body kit does look really, really good and that huge rear wing and diffuser is a big part of this. But it is all there for a purpose.
The car feels very planted and sure footed. Think of how undramatic it is taking a steady sweeping corner in your daily fiesta or whatever at 30mph. Now with this car, you start there and it just wants you to go quicker, while still remaining incredibly flat, comfortable and steady. You’ll be leaving the corner at double that speed and wishing it kept going round just so you can see how fast this car really goes round corners! The grip is immense.
The car feels as if it doesn’t have a “mass” as such, it can swap corners just like that, theres no roll and no resistance in the direction you choose to go, when you brake, the car doesn’t pitch forward as such it just stops. The only reason it will go sideways is because your exceeding the grip limits of the tire, it’s not necessarily the inertia of the car pushing it about.
As an exercise in handling, this car is exquisite. Alot of time, track days, effort and energy have gone into setting this car up so its just right for road and track and it shows. It’s the comfort and interior that impresses me.
Just being inside the car is really nice. It’s such a driver focused place to be and even as a passenger you still feel involved. The cabin sort of wraps around you and “cocoons” you. You sit nice low and central to what’s going on so you feel everything.
It’s very easy to forget this is an early nineties car. The Mazda rx-7 turbo in its original guise is considered one of the finest driving cars of all time.. so to mess around with that, some would consider to be sacrilege. But when you see and experience an rx7 fd3s such as this, it’s very hard to wrap your mind around. This is so much better in every single way possible. It feels tight, responsive, solid and best of all, reliable. This is a car you can drive every day and fully enjoy all of its capabilities to the full. This fd rx-7 is built well within it’s means, and the peace of mind that brings is unparalleled. Especially in a car that has a bit of a reputation. Since this car is really all about handling on the track and country roads from the outset. It makes you wonder why people bother chasing big power figures in these cars. Just get in, drive it and enjoy it!
If your reading this now as of this date, November 14th 2011 you’re in a very unique place right now. You can own this car today, and why not? After experiencing this car first hand, its a dream car for sure, and its surprisingly affordable.
There’s more pictures from the day here,
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