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Mazda Australia's RX7-SP and RX7-SP2 (3rd Generation RX7)

Photos / Introduction / Specifications / Getting SP parts / More Information


Photos

Here are some photos of the RX7-SP (Both in road car form and production racing form)

Mazda Australia's RX7-SP (Road and Race cars)
RX7SP (Road & race versions)
(800x600)
Mazda Australia's RX7-SP (Road and Race cars)
RX7SP (Road & race versions)
(800x500)
Mazda Australia's RX7-SP (Race car engine) (640x480)
SP race engine
(640x480)
Mazda Australia's RX7-SP (Road car engine) (640x480)
SP road engine
(640x480)
Mazda Australia's RX7-SP (Race car interior) (640x480)
SP race interior (640x480)
Mazda Australia's RX7-SP (Road car interior) (640x480)
SP road interior (640x480)
Mazda Australia's RX7-SP (Road/Race car wheels) (640x480)
SP Wheels
(640x480)
Mazda Australia's RX7-SP (Race car fuel tank) (640x480)
SP race fuel tank (640x480)
Mazda Australia's RX7-SP video tapes (640x480)
Mazda Videos (640x480)
     

Introduction

The RX7-SP was an official product of Mazda Australia.
There is a 12 hour production car race in Australia; in 1992/1993/1994 it was at the Bathurst track about 300km from Sydney, in 1995 it took place at the Eastern Creek race track in Sydney's outer western suburbs, I believe there has been no race since 1995.
This race was open ONLY to cars which are available for purchase at an official dealer of the manufacturer with a few allowable modifications such as free choice of brake pads, shock absorbers, exhaust and mandatory safety equipment such as roll cage, fire suppression etc.

In 1992/1993/1994, Mazda won with a mostly stock RX7 against exotic cars like Porsches, BMWs etc. This made the competition furious and they announced special versions would be imported (such as BMW's M3-R, Porsche's 911 RS CS etc) to combat this threat to their image.

To counter this in February 1995 Mazda announced a limited run of RX7s, to be known as the SP.
These cars were imported from Japan as standard Australian specification cars, then locally modified under the direction of Mazda racing chief Allan Horsely, and top technical man Daniel Deckers at Mazda's Kingsgrove, Sydney workshop. From start of project to final prototype out the door only took the team 3 months.
To qualify for production car racing, 25 RX7-SPs were sold to the public, however after winning again in 1995, another 10 were produced.

Here are the results of the endurance races, note the 1992/1993/1994 were all basically stock RX7s, The RX7-SP was used in 1995.
1992 RX7 (BP Silver/Blue) at Bathurst 12 Hour race
1993 RX7 (BP Silver/Green) at Bathurst 12 Hour race
1994 RX7 (BP Silver/Green) at Bathurst 12 Hour race
1995 RX7-SP (MMM White, Number 7, pictured above) at Eastern Creek 12 Hour race

Specifications

The RX7-SP has over 60 modifications to a standard RX7:

RX7, RX7SP, RX7SP (race) quick facts
Standard RX7 Road RX7-SP Race RX7-SP
Power 176 kW @6500 204 kW 240 kW
Torque 294 Nm @5000 357 Nm (unknown - estimate 460 Nm)
Weight 1310 kg 1218 kg (unknown - estimate 1190 kg) 
Top speed 255 km/h 260 km/h (unknown - estimate 265 km/h)
0-100 km/h 6.29 sec 6.07 sec (unknown - estimate 5.8 sec
1/4 mile 14.56 sec 13.98 sec (unknown - estimate 13.5 sec)
Price (1995) $AUS 80k $AUS 100k (unknown)

Important, the estimates in the Race RX7-SP column are pure speculation by me:
Torque by 240kW/176kW * 294Nm = 460Nm
Weight by subtracting estimated 25kg for Airbag/Air conditioner
Top speed by simple linear extrapolation of known engine power and top speeds
Acceleration figures by extrapolating Standard RX7 and RX7-SP power-weight ratios vs performance figures.


List of modifications to convert standard RX7 to road going RX7-SP:
* Front Nose cone, with much larger air intake. Made from Carbon Fibre
* Rear Spoiler, higher mounted than standard, allowing higher cornering speeds (up to 5 km/h faster). Made from Carbon Fibre.
* Bonnet, made from Aluminium with extra cooling slots
* Carbon Fibre engine intake ducts, air filter pod and air piping.
* 110 litre carbon fibre fuel tank
* Stainless steel fuel tank heat shield (from the exhaust)
* High flow exhaust (from the turbo), probably stainless steel construction.
* Larger diameter and thicker brake disks.
* Larger 4 spot brake callipers with "endless" brake pads
* Recaro SP-A seats (2.5 kg each)
* Differential ratio changed to 4.3 (4.1 is standard)
* Power windows/mirrors/sunroof, Cruise control, CD, ABS, Airbag all retained from standard RX7 (A/C optional)
* "3 times more efficient" intercooler
* Stock turbos (except different seals are used).
* Standard boost (I think the road version of the SP is standard boost. Race may have higher boost)
* 17 inch wheels (with Kangaroo centre caps), 235/35 front, 225/40 rear

Further modifications to Race only RX7-SP:
* Fast fuelling system (110 litres in 20 seconds)
* Perspex shield separates driver from hatch area/fuel tank
* 100 octane unleaded fuel used, chilled to 5c with dry ice (helps engine run slightly cooler & more power)
* No A/C or airbag

Getting SP parts

Good News! ALL RX7-SP parts are available for order at any Australian Mazda dealer.
Bad News! These parts are VERY expensive.
As an example, I asked for the prices of the BODY parts alone.
(Before you ask, the intercooler and carbon fibre air intake pod are also very expensive)

RX7-SP Price List (Body Parts)
Part Number Description Qty Price
9965-02-8070 Wheel (F) 2 $3083.70
9965-02-8570 Wheel (R) 2 $3192.03
F111-37-19X Wheel Cap 4 $388.99
F901-52-310 Bonnet 1 $2827.85
FD01-50-311SP Bonnet Vent 1 $157.28
FD01-50-312SP Bonnet Vent 1 $157.28
FD03-51-960SP Rear Spoiler 1 $3145.50
FD01-50-031SP Nose Panel 1 $3984.30

TOTAL: AUS$ 24179.63 (=about US$ 19,000)

RX7-SP2

Mazda was planning an RX7-SP2 (a second version of the SP series). I understand that a prototype was made by fitting various parts to a new RX7, however as the production car racing series was disbanded I believe that the parts were removed and the car was sold as a normal RX7.

In any case I have heard various reports that most of the parts used in the SP series such as the intercooler and body panels were merely sourced from other aftermarket suppliers, notably in Japan there is an extensive industry that creates modified RX7s with performance levels far above the SP. I guess the main interesting point is that the SP was an 'official Mazda product'.

In mid 2000 this same team made a prototype MX5/Miata with a turbo kit producing in the region of 150kW (vs the standard engine's 106kW), it is rumoured to have been given a stamp of approval from both Mazda Japan and Mazda Australia and is supposed to be going into production, however as yet (March 2001) this has not eventuated.

More Information

The videos shown at the top of this page were sold by Mazda Australia to celebrate their win.
* 'Back to Back' is TV coverage about the win of the RX7 in 1992/1993 at the Bathurst 12hour race.
* 'The Duel' is TV coverage about the win of the RX7 in 1995 and 1992/1993/1994.
I got my copies sent to me by ringing their customer help line. You may be able to contact Mazda Australia and via their website and ask for a copy of the videos. While they are nice to watch, there is virtually ZERO technical information.. So you'd probably find out more reading a magazine. Also, if you are from outside Australia remember that our video system is PAL. A PAL tape will NOT work in most NTSC or SECAM video machines (although many recent machines are multi system).

Finally, the "Targa Tasmania" series of videos has several RX7-SPs getting a real good thrashing
I'm currently trying to find out how to get these.. Stay tuned..
(Before you ask, I'm very sorry, but I can't help you get any of this material. I don't have the time or resources)

Further reading and acknowledgements:
* Fast Fours and Rotaries Magazine, Volume 8 Number 8, Nov/Dec 1995  (RX7-SP article).
* "Motor" magazine June 1995 (Article about the RX7-SP)
* "Motor" magazine January 1993 (Article about the standard Australian RX7)

Other relevant reading at Craig's Rotary Page (Please go via the INDEX page):
* Books page (FF&R / Motor back issues).

Other relevant sites on the Internet (Please go via the LINKS page):
* There are a few sites that have scanned in the complete articles about the RX7-SP from Motor and FF&R.
* Mazda Australia has a very brief paragraph and drawing of the RX7-SP in their history section.


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This page last updated 22/3/2001
Update History:
22/3/2001 - Changed More Information section, Converted all text to new standard (Headings as Heading1, Some sub-headings (e.g. tables) as 14 point normal bold italic, Most text as Normal, Internal page links at top not all uppercase), Changed from Netscape to FrontPage, Background image changed to PG00_02B.JPG
10/6/1998 - Previous known update (May have been some before this)

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