The Toyota Supra is coming back. The Acura NSX already has. And the Nissan Z never really left. That leaves the Mazda RX-7 among the last of the Japanese sports cars of the 1980s and ’90s for which we’re still left pining.
Unfortunately, despite years of rumors, Mazda has yet to put its rotary-powered sports car back into production. So aside from hoping and praying, the best we can do now (for those of us still enamored of Wankel power) is to look back on the versions that were with nostalgia.That’s just the purpose this video from Cars Evolution serves. It traces the history of the RX-7 from the original that debuted in 1978 through to the last one we got in America in 1995, through to the last version that was still offered back in Japan as recently as 2002 (before the unusual-apertured RX-8 arrived to take its place).There was just one of those final RX-7 Spirit R models made in left-hand drive, incidentally. It was built for Mazda’s North American chief Robert Davis, and it still resides at the company’s US headquarters.Along the way, Mazda’s celebrated, if flawed, sports car increased in output nearly three-fold, from 100 horsepower in the original to 276 in the final version. And performance increased along with it, dropping the 0-60 time from 9.2 seconds to less than 5, and the quarter-mile from 16.7 to 13.3. That’s some impressive evolution. Now it’s time for a rotary revolution. Your move, Mazda.