The 1996 Update
A minor refreshing in 1996 brought a power increase to 265 hp, and torque up to 222 lb/ft (up from 217). A new spoiler was offered as well.
The 1999 Update
In 1999, the FD3S, nearing the end of its lifespan, joined Japan’s 280-bhp club. A gentlemen’s agreement among Japanese automakers limits the maximum power to 280, (although many, such as Nissan’s skyline are way past that mark). More boost, new turbos, improved cooling, enhanced apex seal lubrication, better engine management and a less restrictive exhaust are some of the reasons cited for the increase. New Bilstein shock absorbers on the tope of the line Type RS model add to the already acclaimed suspension, and a face lifted front fascia drastically improves cooling to the radiator, brake ducts, intake, intercooler and oil coolers. An adjustable rear-wing on the Type R and Type RS models allows control over drag and down force. Taller 17″ wheels and fat 235/255mm series rubber complimented the increased power with added traction.
1999 Mazda RX-7 GT-C Concept
1999 saw the release of the RX-7 GT-C Concept, to coincide with the launch of the restyled standard model. It consisted of mostly exterior upgrades, including a full body kit that replicates the Mazdaspeed JGTC RX-7 for superior aerodynamics and cooling.
2001 Type RZ
Although the RZ name is not new, this final type RZ is significant in how extensive the changes to the regular model are, as well as it likely being the last 3rd generation RX-7.
Features common to all three series models
- Interior panels with soft coating (meter panel, center panel, center console, power window switch panels) – Steering wheel and knob with red stitching (Nardi-made leather steering wheel, leather shift knob, leather parking brake lever, and shift boot for manual transmission model)
- Red brake calipers and front strut tower bars – 17-inch aluminum wheels manufactured by BBS (gun metallic color for Type-A, and silver for Type-B and Type-C) – Spirit R exclusive ornament – Spirit R exclusive meters
Exclusive features – Large drilled type bench rated disk brakes for all four wheels (Type-A and Type-B) – High rigid stainless mesh brake hoses (Type-A and Type-B) – Exclusive dampers manufactured by Bilstein (Type-A and Type-B) – Recaro lightweight full bucket seats (Type-A)
- Authentic leather red bucket seats (Type-B and Type-C) (fd3s.net)
Total of 1500 produced 2002 RX-7s, 1000 produced Spirit “R” series
For the final production year Mazda have released a limited edition of the RX7, the Spirit R. The third-generation RX-7, first launched in 1991, has a particularly distinctive exterior design. Its lightweight, compact and high-output rotary engine enables the driver to feel superb driving pleasure. Epitomizing Mazda’s spirit of sports car, RX-7 has won popularity among the customers since its 1978 launch. Mazda envisions the production of the current RX-7 model (FD-3S) to come to an end in August 2002. The Spirit R series is available in three models: the Type A, a two-seater with a five-speed manual transmission; the Type-B, a four-seater with a five-speed manual transmission; and the Type-C, a four-seater with a four-speed automatic transmission. All three models are equipped with common interior and exterior features, such as BBS-manufactured 17-inch wheels, red brake calipers, and interior panels with a special soft coating, while each model shows off its own equipment to make a difference from the other. The Type-A Spirit R is a two-seater model fitted with the Recaro-made exclusive red full bucket seats. These lightweight seats reduce the overall chassis weight of the vehicle by approximately 10 kg. Braking performance is enhanced through the use of large drilled type ventilated disk brakes for all four wheels and high rigid stainless mesh brake hoses. The Type-A Spirit R model is the ultimate RX-7, boasting the most outstanding driving performance in its history. The Spirit R is available with five outer panel colors including Titanium Gray Metallic. (ultimatecarpage)
For the 2002 model year Mazda introduced a special version of their rotary sports car, the RX7 Type R Bathurst R. The limited edition model is based on the Type R, with the highest power-weight ratio among RX-7 series, and features custom height-adjustable dampers designed specially for the limited edition model for enhanced driving excitement. In addition, employing the carbon tone cockpit reminiscent of a racing car adds up to a thoroughly sporty feel. Three body colors are available, including exclusive color for this limited edition vehicle: Sunburst Yellow. The name Bathurst was chosen to commemorate the Bathurst 12-hour car race in Australia, where the RX-7 has been victorious for three consecutive years (1992 through 1994). Since that time all limited edition versions of the RX-7 have carried the Bathurst name. Sales of the RX-7 Type R Bathurst R are limited to 500 units for all of Japan.
Features of the Bathurst R – Custom Bathurst R decals – Height-adjustable dampers (custom designed for the limited edition model) – Carbon tone panels (center panel, center console, power window switch panel and small storage compartment cover on driver’s side) (manufactured by Mazda Speed) – Carbon shift knob and parking brake lever (manufactured by Mazda Speed) (ultimatecarpage