RX-7/Rotary Engine Facts
Both the RX-7 and the rotary engine that powers it are subject to many misconceptions and misunderstandings. Hopefully, this list of random facts will help clear things up.
- The rotary engine is actually very reliable, no matter what anyone says. Odds are that a person saying the engine is not reliable doesn't know what they are talking about, modded his/her car improperly or didn't take care of their engine.
- All 3rd Generation RX-7s (1993-present) are twin sequential turbo, twin rotor 13B-REW engines. There were no naturally asiprated, single turbo or three rotor 3rd gen. RX-7s produced from the factory.
- The different generations of RX-7 are usually referred to by a two letter code taken from the VIN number. First generations ('79-'85) are FBs, second generations ('86-'91/92) are FCs and third generations ('93-present) are FDs.
- The FD is still being produced, but only in Japan.
- FCs have passive rear steering, which Mazda refers to as the "Dynamically Tracking Suspension System", or DTSS. If you don't want this (for drag racing, etc.) then you can buy special bushings to remove it.
- FCs came in both intercooled turbo and naturally aspirated. In the US, all convertibles were naturally aspirated, but in Japan and other areas of the world they were turbo. The naturallty aspirated FC was not available in Japan.
- The turbo FC is called the "Turbo II". This is not because it has two turbos, but because the FB was available in Japan as turbo.
- The 13B rotary engine in the 1989-1991 RX-7 has the highest power to displacement ratio of any naturally aspirated engine produced.
- Rotary engines respond to common modifications like intake and exhaust much better then piston engines. However, if you have a turbo rotary and perform the preceding modifications, it is now time to upgrade the fuel system. If you don't, you will most likely run lean, detonate and then blow the engine.
- The rotary's strong exhaust pulses are also much better for driving a turbocharger than a piston engine.
- The rotary engine burns oil by design, unlike piston engines that burn oil as they wear out.
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