MZ Racing brings us this coverage from the 2012 Mazda Fan Festa that took place this past weekend at the Okayama International Circuit. It was a celebration of all things Mazda including some old RX-3 race cars and modern RX-7 and RX-8 race and drift cars. The 767B and 787B were present and even took to the track together. The guys got on-board footage from both cars. Mazda also debuted their new Sky-Active diesel race car that will be campaigned by Dempsey Racing in the LMP2 class of Le Mans next year.
This week’s episode of Jay Leno’s garage introduces us to the Mazda Cosmo 110S. The Cosmo represents a classic Japanese halo car from the 60’s. It was also Mazda’s first attempt at a rotary engine powered sports car. We never got any Cosmos here in the US, but this particular car was imported by a U2 spy plane pilot when he returned from his service in Japan. When Jay bought it, the body was in good shape but the engine had seized. Leno’s mechanic replaced the engine with a 1.2 liter 12A rotary engine from the first generation RX-7 with a couple of power upgrades including a Weber sidedraft carburetor and manifold. The car now has over 200 horsepower and a 9,000 rpm redline.
Knight Sports of Japan released this overview of the assembly of a Mazda 13B-REW rotary engine. The 13B-REW was the twin turbo version that was found in the last generation of the RX-7. The video is a 4 minute sped up version of the entire assembly process.
Here’s a second video with some captions on a few of the processes:
Carlos Lagos brings us something special on this week’s episode of Motor Trend Ignition. He gets to test drive the only left hand drive Mazda RX-7 Spirit R in the world. The Spirit R was Mazda’s way of commemorating the end of production for the 3rd generation FD3S RX-7. The last 1500 cars off of the production line received special upgrades to make them Spirit R’s. The car that Carlos gets to drive is a left hand drive model that a Mazda executive had converted to a Spirit R. He goes on to talk about how the harkens back to when the Japanese built cars that focused solely on driving pleasure.
Some days I feel like I sift through an endless sea of crappy car stuff on the internet trying to find gems to post here on the blog. I worry about being able to tell the difference between just hitting a drought that day or if I’m just becoming jaded and hard to impress after being exposed to a massive volume of content. That’s why it was refreshing to come across this video from Sam Smith of Car and Driver today. He takes a 1967 Lotus Elan and Mazda’s MX-5 Super 20 Concept for a spin out at Laguna Seca for all of us to enjoy. Smith discusses why the Elan was a significant car when it was produced and which of its successful aspects inspired Mazda when they made the first MX-5 Miata. The discussion ends up touching on what the true definition of a “driver’s car” should be. I’m glad to see there are still automotive journalists who are not too rock star to appreciate lightweight sports cars with modest power. It’s still somewhat of a mystery to me why so many people love the Mazda MX-5 but cry bloody murder about how the Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ don’t have enough power. That’s the difference between road racers and forum “tuners,” I guess. There goes the jaded part of me talking again. Enjoy the video: