The third generation Mazda RX-7 (also known as the FD – read our buyer’s guide and history here) is one of the greatest Japanese performance cars of all time.
Designed to compete with the likes of the Porsche 911, the RX-7 has timeless styling that looks as good today as it did when it first rolled off the production line, as well as impressive performance to boot.
The impressive performance part came from the combination of a lightweight chassis configured for excellent handling, along with a smooth and powerful twin turbocharged rotary engine known as the “13B”.
But are all FD RX-7 twin turbo?
As you’ll be aware, many car manufacturers will make the same car with different engine variations.
In the 1990s it was very common for car manufacturers to make an “entry level” version of their performance cars as well.
For example, Mitsubishi made the 3000GT/GTO with a twin turbo engine, and then also a naturally-aspirated variant.
Nissan did the same with the Z32 Fairlady Z/300ZX, which was also available in twin turbo V6 and NA V6 variants.
So are all FD RX-7 twin turbo? Or were there naturally aspirated variants as well?
The truth is that ALL FD generation RX-7s are twin turbo.
Every third gen RX-7 that rolled off the production line has a 13B, twin-turbo rotary engine (and yes, all RX-7s are rotary as well).
What did change over the years is that the power output of the RX-7 climbed, especially towards the end of production and for special models like the Spirit-R.
By the end of production the 13B in the RX-7 was pushing out the best part of 300hp, compared to the low 200s at the start of production.
Unfortunately the American market never saw the highest output RX-7s, with production for the US market finishing up in the mid 1990s due to slow sales and the worsening impact of stricter emissions controls.
Nonetheless, any RX-7 FD is a great drive – even the earlier models with less powerful engines. While you might not be able to accelerate quite so quickly, you will still enjoy the thrill of impeccable handling from the lightweight chassis, as well as some of the most striking and timeless body design to ever grace the automotive industry.
To recap, all FD RX-7s are twin turbo from the factory. Some have been converted over the years to single turbo (or even to other engine swaps) but they were all twin turbo when they rolled off Mazda’s production line.
If you are thinking of buying an FD RX-7, then read our buyer’s guide and history here for more information on how to find and purchase a good example of this increasingly desirable, modern Japanese classic car.