Yes, you may have seen this car before, but never quite like this. It's been nearly five years since this RX-7 last competed, managing to dip into the elusive 55-second bracket at Japan's favorite circuit for the revered Tsukuba Super Lap. But even after this long of a hiatus, everyone's favorite pink-and-white RX-7 is back, ready to prove its worth on the international level. If you'll flip to our coverage of Australia's World Time Attack Finals (WTAF) on page 54 of our October '10 issue, you'll notice it spewing fireballs to the tune of 1:33.505 lap times around Eastern Creek International Raceway. That was its first international endeavor, and amidst competing machines from the likes of Panspeed, Tomei/Cusco, Cyber, and Sierra-Sierra (along with countless others), it finished an impressive Fifth. Not bad for a shakedown session.
Four years is a long time in the world of tuning. Product development has never been so intensive and choices so vast as companies do their best to stay afloat in a recovering economy. This has edged car builders forward, all but forcing them to push the performance envelope and come up with faster cars. With their 55-second RX-7 so far ahead of the curve five years ago, R Magic believes that fine-tuning the platform is all that's needed to stay ahead of their rivals. Regardless, it was back to the drawing board for the 2010 season. Underhood, the car's side-ported 13B was rebuilt and given a new blower from Australia-based GCG, based on the same T04Z model as is supplied to HKS. The compressor was specifically matched to guarantee not only higher top-end power, but also a more responsive and progressive boost curve at lower rpm.
This quest for response also dictated the new intercooler setup, which combines a higher-flowing core from ARC with custom-made end tanks that allow it to be fitted horizontally in front of the engine, allowing for shorter intake plumbing for better response, and for a V-mount configuration with the radiator that makes best use of cool, ambient airflow. An externally vented Sard blow-off valve has been positioned closely to the throttle, more to this effect. The T04Z expels spent gasses through a custom twin titanium exhaust system, straight all the way until both pipes exit with a slight up-tilt at the rear of the car.
To balance the weight of the driver, R Magic positioned a custom Sard/Bosch fuel system to the passenger side of the interior, where a racing fuel tank takes center stage. High-voltage R Magic spark cables and a grounding kit can be found underhood, making sure the strongest and cleanest sparks are created in the combustion chambers, while an A'pexi Power FC and HKS F-Con V Pro work together at handling the engine's parameters-parameters that can be read by the driver via an AiM MXL digital gauge unit and four A'pexi dials laid out on the center section of a lightweight custom dash. A Neko Corporation A/F640 helps the driver keep an eye on air/fuel mixtures, while the Ultra gear-shift indicator displays which of the six straight-cut gears the Hewland six-speed sequential transmission is locked into-channeling close to 600 hp to the ground is no easy feat! Fortunately, a tuned ATS carbon two-way limited-slip differential and triple-plate carbon clutch are up to the task every bit as much as that Super GT 'box.
Chassis tuning is of equal concern to the minds of R Magic-this RX-7 has been substantially strengthened with extensive bracing around suspension mounting points as well as seam-welded to increase its overall rigidity. Everything that was not needed has been stripped away and the entire interior was left bare except for the intricately welded and braced rollcage. Specially valved Ohlins DFV dampers were matched to super-stiff Eibach springs, and fitted to the custom R Magic adjustable links. Endless supplied a full braking changeover, consisting of six-piston calipers at the front and four-piston units at the rear, with large slotted and floating discs with track-specific pads all around.
Despite all this, it will probably be the body that attracts the most attention out on the global circuit. Visual impact was the key in creating this new 2010 version Pink Number 4, which received a set of wild front and rear widened fenders. Joining them is the car's original N1 bumper, now sporting small cutouts that supply air to the front brakes, and a newly designed carbon fiber front diffuser. This, along with twin canards and the intricate design of the front fenders, helps generate downforce at the front of the car-perfect for pushing those massive 295/30-18 Hankooks onto the track surface. The original side skirts and carbon underskirts remain and are joined by Super-GT-like rear fenders, which increases the rear width of the car dramatically, creating yet another outlet for trapped air as it meets the R Magic rear bumper. A pair of carbon canards, a matching rear diffuser, and a Sard GT wing are responsible for generating downforce at the rear. FRP is the material of choice for the rear gate, doors, fenders, bumpers, and hood, complementing acrylic glass in keeping weight at a minimum. Lighter TE37 Super Lap version wheels have been provided by Rays and are slightly wider at the front compared to rear-a surprising move, but one made to decrease understeer.
With a curb weight of only 1,040 kg, the R Magic RX-7 may very well be one of the lightest cars on the grid. Fortunately, veteran Japanese GT driver Mitsuhiro Kinoshita is probably one of the smallest guys out there as well. And where exactly did he and R Magic get their first chance to test their newly rebuilt and retuned machine? You probably guessed it-Eastern Creek Raceway, for its impressive finish in the WTAF. As you read this, the car's most likely back in Japan, awaiting its chance to shred the competition on any one of its homeland's most popular circuits, the R Magic crew constantly tweaking its setup where they see fit. Where's it most likely to roll aground next? Tsukuba Super Battle will be nearly upon us as this issue hits shelves, and the R Magic FD will be up against the world's fiercest competition yet again. We can't wait to see this thing in action again!
Chuo Ward, tokyo, Japan
Building rotary-powered circuit monsters!
five years and counting
Racing rotary-powered circuit monsters!
FD3S Mazda RX-7
Output: 589.3 whp / 387.7 lb-ft of torque
Engine R Magic side-ported 13B-REW, polished intake manifold, semi-rigid engine mounts, lightweight pulleys, front pipe, 75mm titanium dual exhaust, custom V-mounted aluminum intercooler and radiator, aluminum intercooler piping kit, custom cold-air feed scoop, 850cc/min primary injectors, 550cc/min secondary injectors, custom fuel tank, braided fuel lines, plug wires, grounding kit, oil catch tank, oil cooler; GCG T04Z turbocharger; HKS external wastegate; ARC intercooler/radiator cores; Sard blow-off valve, adjustable fuel pressure regulator; Bosch fuel pumps; Odyssey battery; Billion power steering tank
Drivetrain Hewland sequential six-speed transmission; Exedy Hyper carbon triple-plate clutch, flywheel; ATS two-way carbon LSD; R Magic transmission cooler, differential cooler
Suspension Ohlins DFV two-way adjustable dampers; Eibach springs (16kg/mm front, 10kg/mm rear); R Magic special adjustable links; R Magic spot-welding and chassis reinforcements, custom rollcage
Wheels/Tires Volk Racing TE37 Super Lap wheels (18x11 front, 18x10.5 rear); Hankook Z221 tires (295/30-18 front and rear)
Brakes Endless Racing six-piston calipers (front), four-piston calipers (rear), two-piece slotted discs, high-friction brake pads; twin master cylinders
Exterior R Magic fixed headlights, 2010 Super Lap Special widebody conversion; FRP N1 front bumper, aero hood, wide front aero fenders, wide rear aero fenders, side skirts, rear bumper, hatch, doors, carbon-fiber front diffuser, front canards, rear canards, under skirts, rear diffuser; Craft Square carbon-fiber mirrors; Sard carbon-fiber GT wing; custom acrylic replacement glass
Interior Recaro bucket seat; Sparco steering wheel; Willans racing harness; custom extended steering column, pedal box, dashboard, center console, switch panel, gear lever
Electronics A'pexi Power FC, commander, gauges (water temperature, oil temperature, oil pressure, boost pressure/vacuum); HKS F-Con V Pro, EVC boost controller; AIM MXL LCD display/data logger; Ultra shift indicator; Neko Corporation A/F640 air/fuel display