There’s no rest for the wicked, or so the saying goes, and given that we’re all stuck inside for the foreseeable future, some of us have actually made progress on our project cars. Not us, we’re still toiling away at our computers and chasing children, but more like the owner of this turbocharged, 4-rotor, sequential air-shifted RX-7 who just broke our collective minds.
Built with the help of others by David Mazzei, the RX-7 began like many other projects, with an easily achieved goal which quickly turned into project car madness and the animal you see here. A PPRE 4-rotor engine was built for Mazzei in New Zealand with a Garret GTX55 turbo slapped on for good measure. A Haltech ECU keeps everything working, while also managing the car’s 800+ wheel horsepower output—though Mazzei says it's around 1,000 engine horsepower. The new star of the show, however, is the Quaife transmission.
The Quaife QBE69G 6-speed sequential transmission alone costs over $10,000 and features straight cut gears, hence the transmission whine you can hear in the video. According to Mazzei, that’s paired with a SPEC triple plate clutch and coupled to a Geartronics Pneumatic carbon paddle system, but also features a manual override so that you can crack through the gears like the good ole days. Shifts take just 50 milliseconds.
In addition to all the custom work Mazzei’s done to the engine, transmission, and drivetrain, the RX-7 also features an NSX J-GTC roof scoop to feed the rear-mounted intercooler, a rear-mounted trans cooler behind the right tire, custom-built Brembo brakes, Toyo Tires slicks, and Fortune Auto Suspension.
Marking the first drive since the transmission was changed over from a standard 6-speed to the sequential here, Mazzei gushed over the car’s “completion,” saying, “After 120 days of intensive work, the Mazzei Formula 4 Rotor RX7 is back with [a] new braking system, aerodynamics, suspension upgrades, axles, differential, and a pneumatic paddle-shifted sequential transmission.”
As for the sound, it’s incredible and one of a kind. Like a blend of a Formula 1 car from the V8 era mated with Mazda’s Le Mans-winning 4-rotor 787B. It’s ear-splitting heaven and the shifts seem to come in concussive split-second waves. It’s safe to say we’d let Mazzei name our firstborns to get a chance to slap through his RX-7’s gears. What a machine.
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