It’s rare that sequels are better than the original. But what if no one ever saw the original? Then the sequel becomes the original. That’s the case with the Turbo II Mazda Rx7. The original Turbo Rx7 was only sold in japan in very select numbers. It was a good car, but we never got it. Two years later, we finally got one only this time it’s called the Turbo 2.
The Mazda Rx7 Turbo 2 has a 1.3L rotary engine and 5 speed manual transmission. For this article, I drove an American Market Turbo II and a Japanese Market Turbo II. Both share the same original engine and trans, the main difference is the orientation of the interior: The US version being left hand drive and the JDM version being right hand drive.
The Rotary engine is smooth and fun to rev. You can bring them up to their 8,000rpm all day and they love it. But now, the Turbo II has…. A turbo (duh). Spooling around 3,500rpm, there is no strong surge in power. But don’t get it twisted, you will want to hold on for dear life. While there is no harsh kick in power, there defiantly is a power increase as smooth as silk. The power almost sneaks up on you until you look down and you’re at 7,500rpm and doing twenty above the speed limit.
The interior, while mirrored between the cars, is lackluster. Nothing really catches your eye or leaves you with any compelling emotions. But that’s the point. The Turbo II is for driving. Your eyes should be out in front of the car, not looking around inside. While the JDM version did get more features like a digital clock and back seats, both interiors are hardly memorable.
The rotary engine is such a unique experience that every car enthusiast should enjoy at least once in their life. The high-revving piston-less engine paired with boost is a better combination than peanut butter and jelly.