Mazda RX-7

Mazda RX-7 Sets Speed Record

There’s a lot of records out there, all made to be broken. A Mazda RX-7 has broken the half-mile speed record for rotary engines.
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That’s a highly specific category, of course, as most rotary engines that are still on the road were made by Mazda for its RX-7 and RX-8 sports cars.

Mazda Miata's Record Run

The owner of one late-run RX-7 has built an 835-horsepower, turbocharged three-rotary engine. The owner, Rob Dahm, took the car to a half-mile-long dragstrip (most dragstrips are a quarter-mile long, in case you have forgotten or didn’t know) and achieved 177 mph from a standing start – three mph quicker than the previous record.

One video-watcher says that Dahm’s driving suggests that the car could go even faster on subsequent runs as Dahm gets more practice (we can say from experience that it usually takes multiple runs to achieve the fastest time/highest speed, whether we’re talking on track or dragstrip). That said, Dahm had to do more than just modify the car – he had to fix its problems, too.

Problems Along the Way

Problems including the radiator, which gave up the ghost the day before the record-setting run, and issues with the engine-control unit (ECU) connections. But Dahm got the car to the track and was able to complete the record run.

CarBuzz posted the video and also speculates that this might be the kick that Mazda needs to build an RX-9 – the company hasn’t sold a rotary-engine sports car since the RX-8 went out of production in 2012. Mazda has long denied interest in building another RX – rotary or not – but as CarBuzz points out, a recent patent filing might contradict that claim. Not to mention the existence of the RX Vision Concept that was shown at the Tokyo Motor Show two years ago.

Whether this helps Mazda decide to build an RX or not doesn’t even matter, really – it’s just damn impressive.


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