Production of the RX-7, along with the much more popular Miata, made Mazda the world's largest producer of sports cars. The RX-7 competed with such 30-grand muscle cars as the Corvette, Toyota Supra, Mitsubishi 3000GT and Dodge Stealth.
Despite its stunning looks and extraordinary performance, the third-generation RX-7 was not a strong seller, with Mazda having trouble meeting its sales goals.
The front-engine, rear-drive, steel-body RX-7 was lighter even than the aluminum-body, midengined Acura NSX. The rotary-powered RX-7 used sequential turbochargers to pump out 255 horsepower. A small turbo came onto boost quickly at low engine speeds, then a larger turbo took over at higher engine speeds, when the small turbo would "stall." The result came close to eliminating the lag and abrupt power surges normally associated with turbos.
The original R-1 package was aimed at actual racers or the no-compromise enthusiast. It had razor-sharp handling but a ride as severe as a Go-Kart's. Some who should have bought the now-discontinued Touring Package bought the competition-oriented R-1, resulting in unhappiness and loosened fillings. Headroom was another problem, the roofline had a "double-bubble" effect that helped a little, but tall drivers, or racers wearing helmets, had to slump or drive something else.
Introduced in 1994 was the R-2 handling package, which was less harsh than the R-1.
For 1995, the base car and R-2 package remained, but the Touring Package and red leather options were gone. It was Mazda's last 1995 model to go on sale in early 1995. After this model year, the North American market stopped selling the RX-7, with no replacements for the rest of the '90s. Sales of the 1995 RX-7 lasted through early 1996.
As of April 1, 1994:
- $36,500 (1994 Mazda RX-7)
As of December 1994:
- $37,500 (1995 Mazda RX-7)
As of June 30, 1995:
- $37,800 (1995-1996 Mazda RX-7)
- $425 (1994 models)
- $450 (1995 models)