With a lifetime’s worth of experience in pushing the rotary engine to its max, Isami Amemiya has set himself an all-new challenge for 2011. Over the years, his tuning shop, RE Amemiya has dominated nearly every motorsport they’ve competed in, from Super GT to D1, not to mention the blistering fast street machines that we’ve featured many times over. They have shown they are capable of building powerful yet responsive cars while always maintaining overall balance, but now it’s time to step their game up and show the Time Attack crowd what they are truly capable of. It took all of 2010 and many hours of hard work but Amemiya-san got there in the end, unveiling his latest creation at this year’s Tokyo Auto Salon. The Hurricane 7 is the most extreme FD3S RX-7 he has ever created and it’s built only for one thing, braking records!
You won’t find the Hurricane 7 lapping circuits like Tsukuba; that’s because they’ve “been there” and “done that”, and what’s more exciting than moving up to more challenging venues? While shooting the car at Amemiya’s Tokyo workshop, we had a quick chat with the man himself, where he explained in his colorful and unmistakable Chiba-ben, or Chiba accent, that this RX-7 has been specifically set up to challenge international circuits within Japan, places like Fuji Speedway, Suzuka and Okayama. Ama-san, as he is know in the JDM world, goes on to explain that these sorts of layouts not only put a car through its paces from a handling point of view, but they also demand power and balance to achieve special times. This is precisely what he is shooting for; he wants the Hurricane 7 to be able to reach Super GT qualifying times. It’s quite the goal, but one we are sure he can achieve. Let’s take a closer look at what makes this widebody RX-7 so special.
Ama-san got to work on the stripped-out shell right after the 2010 Tokyo Auto Salon. He approached the whole build much like he would have with one of his race cars, by reinforcing the weakest areas of the chassis; this meant fabricating a custom rollcage, that braces at A-pillars and countless other strategic points. Air jacks were also fitted, since time attack cars spend a lot of time in the pits having tires changed and suspension settings varied, they would simplify the process while saving precious time. Small stiffening bars in the engine bay add stiffness around the firewall while the front half of the wheel tubs were cut, allowing access to the suspension components. With the chassis prep finished, the shell was sent off to the paint booth to have a few coats of sky-blue sprayed on, a color that we’ve seen used regularly on RE builds—a signature move, if you will.
With the overall theme set to top new extremes, the body had to look pretty special, more so than the usual Amemiya flair, which is why it was fitted with a modified version of their Super GT GT-300 kit. The wider dimensions add plenty of aggression, allowing the front and rear tracks to be increased for improved handling. The simple and functional design starts at the front with the bumper, which now has a protruding lip spoiler to help generate more downforce. The V-mounted radiator and intercooler are supplied with plenty of air through the gaping front opening while the side intakes help cool a pair of oil coolers. A menacing look is achieved thanks to the front-fixed IPF projectors and the slab-sided wider fenders, hinting that this car means serious business—like Sam Du’s new hairdo. The lower part of the rear bumper was cut and modified so the massive diffuser could be mounted, and air outlets on the fenders help pull air out from under the car. The adjustable GT-wing has been set higher to take advantage of the air coming over the roof of the car. To help further reduce weight on the body, the factory rear hatch was replaced with a fiberglass piece that’s also been outfitted with Lexan windows. Ama-san has imposed himself a rather conservative tire size of 265/35/18, which is the most commonly-used spec on his customer’s street cars. The semi-slick ADVAN A050s are fitted to lightweight 18x10" Enkei GTC01 wheels. Ride height might look a little on the high side, but the suspension had been set like this while the car was in its build process. Expect slammage by the time you read this.
Minimalism is the theme for the interior, a stark contrast to the crazy exterior work. Amemiya bolted in his special-edition Bride buckets for the lucky two who get to take this for a spin. The carbon-look dashboard adds an additional touch of blue and is equipped with a MoTeC LCD data logger, custom switches and M7 gauges. The transmission tunnel hints that something special lurks within, the billet aluminum lever is there to actuate the lightning-fast Hewland sequential gearbox, the same one used on an older GT-300 racecar, with a few other levers and controllers to adjust things like brake balance or placing the car into reverse. Koseki-san of Scoot, an ex-F1 engineer and creator of the mighty 4-rotor Scoot RX-7, was called in to assist with the suspension and suggested Ama-san to go with a set of 3-way adjustable Quantum race dampers matched to a set of Swift springs. Koseki-san then set up the Scoot Ride Height Control (RHC), a leveling system that helps keep the car completely flat through turns, cornering and exiting so it can maximize grip at all times. Brakes were the next step, so 6-pot AP Racing calipers were placed up front while the new RE Amemiya 4-pots take control of the rear; all of the brake discs are slotted 2-piece rotors with a floating bell, which is cooled by custom brake ducting.
With the goals of optimal balance between torque and outright power Ama-san had in mind, he knew that a 13B just wasn’t going to be enough; instead, this needed something funkier, something to the sweet groove of a triple-rotor 20B. But this ain’t your ordinary 20B (as if we can call a 20B ordinary?); this engine was built with three 13B rotor housings, each one specially side-ported in order to extract a balanced amount of power and mid-range grunt. 13B rotors were then thrown in and the engine was sealed up with 20B intermediate and side housings, as well as the 20B eccentric shaft. A custom exhaust manifold was fabricated, and mated to the Trust T88-34D turbine that was chosen for the project. A full 90mm front pipe and titanium race exhaust not only help reduce weight but also allow the Hurricane 7 to growl at full blast. With the Trust intercooler lying flat in the engine bay, its piping was kept as short as possible to help its throttle response. Ama-san plans to map out the MoTeC M800 so it can make peak power around the 600hp mark, concentrating also on making it very responsive in the midrange so the car can be as street driveable as possible.
The RE Amemiya Hurricane 7 is set to run a series of shakedown tests at Fuji Speedway so the suspension and ECU mapping can be dialed in, all of which should have been completed well before you’ve read this story. Then, as we’ve heard on Bravo, it’s all “oh, here go hell come”, which means, let’s see how fast this mother is going to be. With cars clocking in 1:42 laptimes currently at Fuji, the Hurricane 7 has plenty of work to do. The JDM tuning world is anxiously awaiting to see if it will be able to match Super GT times. Can it? Only time will tell…
1998 Mazda RX-7 (FD3S) “Hurricane 7”
Owner Isami Amemiya
Hometown Tomisato, Chiba-Ken
Occupation Owner Of RE Amemiya
Power 600hp at 7,000rpm; 542lb-ft at 5,500rpm
Engine Side-ported 20B engine using 13B housings and rotors; RE Amemiya custom engine mounts, lightweight pulleys, custom exhaust manifold, 90mm stainless steel front pipe, 90mm titanium race-spec exhaust, high-voltage ignition cables, oil cap and air separator tank; Trust T88-34D turbine, triple-row V-mounted intercooler and twin oil coolers; two HKS GT wastegates; M7 Super Power Flow filter; 13B big throttle conversion; 20B intake plenum; Bosch external fuel pumps; Run Max adjustable FPR
Drivetrain Hewland 6-speed sequential transmission; RE Amemiya gear linkage and lever assembly; Ogura triple-plate clutch and GT-type lightweight flywheel; OS Giken Super Lock LSD
Engine Management MoTeC M800 ECU
Footwork & Chassis Quantum fully-adjustable race suspension with externally mounted piggy back tanks; Swift springs, Scoot Racing Ride-Height-Control (RHC) auto leveling system; RE Amemiya front strut tower bar; custom welded-in rollcage by RE Amemiya; spot-welded, stiffened and fully-stripped chassis
Brakes AP Racing 6-pot front calipers w/355mm 2-piece discs; RE Amemiya 4-pot rear calipers w/330mm 2-piece discs; twin brake master cylinders; AP Racing brake-bias adjuster
Wheels & Tires 18x10" Enkei GTC01 wheels; Yokohama ADVAN A050 265/35R18 (front & rear) tires
Exterior RE Amemiya Hurricane 7 GT wide body kit, using 2011 Time Attack Spec: RE Amemiya front bumper & spoiler, fixed headlight conversion with IPF projectors, vented hood, wider front fenders, wet-carbon rearview mirrors, side skirts, rear fenders, removable fiberglass rear hatch, rear bumper, rear diffuser, rear GT-wing and blue carbon-look door handles; Lexan glass; Coolverre front windshield
Interior MOMO blue-carbon look steering wheel; RE Amemiya-spec Bride racing bucket seats; RE Amemiya carbon kick-plates, fiberglass door skins, blue carbon-look dashboard/console trim, billet aluminum shift lever and custom reverse lever linkage; MoTeC LCD dash unit; M7 gauges: oil temp, oil press, water temp into triple passenger side gauge pod, boost controller and boost gauge; Odyssey battery; race fuel tank
WWW enkei.com; greddy.com; hksusa.com; m7usa.com; re-amemiya.co.jp