We rarely ever hear from Australia. In fact, it is so uncommon to hear from them that our misconceptions about the country have forever burned into our minds and we hold them as truths. Many who have never taken five minutes to do some research into the country still believe that native Australians dress like Crocodile Dundee, drink Foster's and are always ready to throw another "shrimp on the barbie". You can thank movies and television shows for that but we haven't become familiar enough with Aussies to have our perceptions altered. We have become so ignorant towards our friends in Australia that we live comfortably not really knowing if their toilets really flush in the opposite direction. The world is such a huge place and we have so many daily distractions that we really have no idea what goes on outside of our own country.
In reality, Australia is very developed and very much like us. They just happen to live in the southern hemisphere and have an accent that is different than ours. Aussies also have similar interests like us-especially when it comes to cars and hot chicks (Google "Sophie Turner" immediately - Staff). Within the automotive tuning community, we also have little understanding of what Australians do. They are also enthusiasts like us and their community is getting stronger every day. They also like to look to Japan for inspiration and idolize the cars that Japanese tuning shops build. They also don't have as many restrictions and their stable of cars consists of many that we don't have access to on a regular basis. Skylines, Silvias and other cars that are not available in the U.S. are readily available to Australia-and no, they don't use them to race against Kangaroos or anything of the sort. One universally popular platform to build on is the FD3S-chassis Mazda RX-7. It's obtainable on both ends of the Earth and though they've been discontinued since 2002, they still remain one of the cars that everyone wants to build.
Andrew Miller has always been a fan of the rotary engine. Having had previous experience building a Mazda RX-3, it almost seemed like second nature to move on to the RX-7 chassis. He says, "The RX-7 is such a great car to drive. It handles really well and to this day, still gets quite a bit of looks. There's really no limit to what modifications you can do to the FD RX-7s as well and that's what really attracted me to it."
"I've always liked the RX-7s that come from RE Amemiya. Visually they are great to look at and they also perform on the road. With my build, I wanted to build something that looked as good as it goes. The body modifications were for looks mainly, but they're aerodynamically functional as well. I went only with Japanese performance parts because I feel that nothing else really comes close. The engine was built mainly for drag racing and dyno competitions so it got a bit out of hand as far as it being street-able but I have no regrets about doing any of it."
The 13B rotary engine sees the most extensive modifications of Andrew's build. The factory twin turbines have been swapped out in favor of a larger, single HKS T51R turbo. HKS is known worldwide for having some of the best aftermarket performance products and the T51R acts as one of the flagship turbochargers in their line-up. While it may spool a bit slower than two smaller units, the T51R is good for massive power and more than enough for Andrew's needs. Other HKS products include a turbo manifold, Super Flow air filter, wastegate and Twin Power ignition. An Xtreme Rotaries 4-barrel throttle body/intake system improves incoming air flow while spent exhaust gases exit through a Stillway titanium exhaust system. The fuel system has also been revamped with 1600cc Bosch fuel injectors and twin Bosch fuel pumps to deliver sufficient fuel to the Wankel engine. To ensure all that added power reaches the pavement, an OS Giken close-ratio gear set and Active Traction Service clutch kit are installed along with a Mazdaspeed limited-slip differential.
Aesthetically, this RX-7 is completely Japanese-inspired and draped only in Japanese aero. Though Andrew found inspiration in the RX-7s produced by RE Amemiya, he went his own route, having only installed Amemiya's carbon rear diffuser and 3D GT rear wing. A Mazdaspeed GT-C front bumper cover modernizes the face of the 1994 RX-7 and Fujita Engineering carbon-fiber side skirts are mounted to give the body a more aggressive look. The interior of Miller's coupe remains mostly unchanged with the exception of a MOMO steering wheel and red leather Bride Ergo II seats.
Besides the Hawk Performance brake pads, the rest of the braking system is also mostly unaltered. HKS coilovers give the FD ride-height adjustability and the aged suspension bushings have all been exchanged for new Mazdaspeed components. Most RX-7 guys on this side of the hemisphere usually run Volk Racing or SSR wheels but Andrew went a different route and on his FD3S sits a staggered set of polished 18-inch Buddy Club P1 wheels.
While the stereotypes of Australia still continue to exist, it is clear that the tuning community down under is ready to let the world know that they exist. They are as modernized and up-to-date with the tuning community as the rest of the world and Andrew's RX-7 is a perfect example of what the Aussies are capable of. His build transcends cultural borders and should be universally recognized. It's a 600+ horsepower HKS-equipped rotary monster wearing the finest Japanese aero. At the end of the day, should it really matter where it's from?
1994 Mazda RX-7
Owner Andrew Miller
Hometown Newstead, Queensland, Australia
Occupation Aircraft Engineer
Engine 1994 Mazda bridge-ported 13B-REW; Series 4 lightened, balanced, and decompressed rotors; 8:1 combustion chamber; CNC machined 3MM apex grooves; 3MM 1-piece NRS ceramic seals; RX-8 Xtreme finished eccentric shaft and stationary gears; HKS Super Flow POD filter, T51R turbocharger, turbo manifold, wastegate, spark plugs, Twin Power Spark Amplifier; Xtreme Rotaries 4-Barrel type throttle-body and intake manifold; GReddy Type R blow-off valve; 1600cc Bosch fuel injectors and dual 044 fuel pumps; Stillway 3.5-inch titanium exhaust system and high-flow catalytic converter; PWR intercooler; Water/methanol injection system and reservoir
Power Estimated 640bhp
Drivetrain OS Giken Close Ratio gear set; ATS pressure plate, carbon twin-plate clutch and flywheel; Mazdaspeed 1.5 way limited-slip differential
Engine Management MoTeC M4; HKS boost controller
Brakes Hawk Performance brake pads
Wheels & Tires (Front) 18x8" Buddy Club P1; 235/45-18 Toyo Proxies; (Rear) 18x9" Buddy Club P1; 265/40-18 Toyo Proxies
Exterior FEED front guards, carbon-fiber sideskirts, RE Amemiya carbon-fiber rear diffuser and carbon-fiber rear 3D GT wing; Mazdaspeed GT-C front bar; Ganador side mirrors
Interior MOMO steering wheel; Bride Ergo II seats
Props Dave; Dave; Alex & Tim at GT Auto Garage for all the countless hours and late nights; Rohand at Xtreme Rotaries for all the advice and engine machining