So, you’re interested in the FC RX7, excellent! The Rotary engine is unique and very cool. The FC is a relatively rare car and is debatably the best RX7 ever made. Mazda produced the FC RX7 from 1985 to 1991. Mazda created the FC in both naturally aspirated models and turbocharged models.
It was the predecessor to the FB RX7, which was quite a bit smaller, and quite a bit slower. After the FC RX7 came the much more popular FD RX7. Let’s take a look at what makes the FC RX7 so impressive.
Ah, the 80s and 90s. Back when cars had flip-up headlights don’t use gimmicky features to sell a car, back when cars didn’t have driver aids to save stupid drivers. The 80s and 90s also have some of the best looking automobiles ever made.
The FC RX7 is one of those fantastic looking automobiles. Just like the FB RX7 before it, the FC is a fastback and has a very long hood, but still retains relatively small proportions. The FC RX7 screams the 90s with its flip-up headlights and horizontal tail lights. You can tell it’s a Japanese car from the late 80s and early 90s. Is this a bad thing? No, not at all.
Like I said before, the 80s and 90s have some of the best looking cars ever. Cars like the E30, Fox Body Mustang, Supra, etc., are from that period. Those cars are arguably some of the best looking cars ever built.
The rotary engine is what the RX7 is best known for because it is entirely different than a standard combustion engine. Instead of using pistons, it uses a “rotor.” This design is very different than the usual four-stroke because intake, compression, combustion, and exhaust all happen in one revolution. A traditional four-stroke internal combustion engine would require two revolutions to complete the same amount of work.
Why is this a good thing? Well, being unique is almost always something good in the car world. But, the engine also helps the car perform much better overall.
Since the FC RX7 only came with a 1.3L rotary, the engine is super small. Since it’s super small and compact, it’s also very lightweight. It also makes a ridiculous amount of power for a 1.3L.
It shouldn’t surprise you too much, but the FC RX7 is becoming rarer every day. Why is this? Well, a lot of it is to do with the rotary not being the most reliable engine ever. They tend to break down, a lot. The engine itself also needs to be rebuilt about 2x as often as a standard internal combustion engine.
I mentioned earlier that a lot of the 80s and 90s cars didn’t have many driver aids, causing a considerable amount of them to be wrecked.
The biggest thing that makes the FC RX7 rare is how few Mazda sold in the first place. The RX7 never a “mainstream” sports car; it was an oddball. It had all the right ingredients of a great sports car, but just couldn’t compete with its other rear-drive sports cars of the time, at least in sales numbers. So, it was kind of rare since day one. But with them becoming rarer every day, they are quickly becoming a collector’s item.
Like I mentioned earlier, the FC RX7 is indeed a sports car. That, of course, is obvious, but how much performance does this little car output? Well, the 0-60 times the 6.5-second range for the turbo model. That was insane at the time because all of the competition used larger engines but weren’t significantly faster. In many cases, the competition was slower.
Cars back then weren’t all that fast, even the Mustang and the Camaro with their 5.0L+ engines weren’t that fast. Then comes along a little 1.3L that kills every other car in its path.
The RX7 is also an excellent handling car; This is because Mazda kept the weight of the FC RX7 very low. The extremely compact design of the rotary engine allowed Mazda to use a mid-front configuration which gives the FC RX7 a 50/50 weight distribution.
The FC RX7 is fairly expensive and fairly hard to find, especially in excellent condition. So why am I bringing up the price? Because when compared to the more known and loved FD model, the FC is dirt cheap.
A decent condition FC can fetch anywhere from $6k to $10k. That price is nothing when you compare it to the FD which typically fetches $16k+. The amount of performance you are getting is not worth the price when compared to any other sports cars of the time; This is especially true when you could have something like a Fox Body Mustang for $4k.
Performance per dollar isn’t what an RX7 is about, especially considering how old they are now. Owning one is supposed to be about the experience. Just like the much more popular Miata, it’s all about being one with the car. You feel the road, and you feel one with the car. Plus you have a rotary screaming away in front of you.
So, overall the FC RX7 is pretty much a Japanese bad-ass. From its unique rotary engine to its killer looks. It’s quickly becoming a collector’s item, so now is the time to get one while you still can. Be sure to share this with your Mazda friends!