The third–generation Mazda RX-7 is a darling of the car community, and for good reason: with a tiny, 1.3-litre twin-rotor Wankel engine, the Japanese sports car that came out in 1992 had a rather impressive output of 252 bhp.
This, coupled with the fact that it was a great base for tuners to work their magic and it was relatively light, weighing about 1,224 kilograms, meant that the RX-7 was bound to become something special.
Even today, 31 years after it debuted, the Japanese two-seater can hold its own against much more modern competitors, and the video embedded at the top of this page, which shows a slightly modified RX-7 being driven by YouTuber Misha Charoudin at the Nurburgring, is proof.
The car has stock brakes and semi-slick tyres from the Japanese brand Zeknova wrapped around Volk TE 37 forged aluminium wheels.
The engine is also a stock two-rotor Wankel that has been rebuilt and then got a single turbocharger conversion, ditching the original sequential twin-turbo. It’s no 12-rotor behemoth, but when everything is said and done, the motor makes around 400 bhp, which is sent to the rear wheels via a five-speed manual gearbox. No traction control, no ABS, and just minor upgrades to the suspension, such as tougher bushings here and there.
And, man, does that thing shift! After the turbo spools up around 4,500 rpm, the tachometer and speedometer move like there’s no tomorrow! In fact, the black RX-7 is so fast that the original speed gauge that goes up to 111 miles per hour is insufficient for the car’s top speed, so the orange needle goes to the max on more than one occasion – talk about a game of top trumps, especially for a 28-year-old car.
Several cars wearing the BMW, Porsche, Mercedes-Benz, and Audi badges stood no chance in front of the lightly modded twin-rotor RX7, although there was a yellow Peugeot 307 that managed to stay ahead of it for a while, plus a Porsche 911 and a Cayman that overtook it with little to no effort.
Misha Charoudin did a single lap in the Japanese two-door icon and at the end of it, the brakes were quite tired, so a second lap wouldn’t have been wise. Plus, the car was apparently too loud when going flat out, so it wouldn’t have been allowed to have another run anyway.
Nurburgring rules state that the static noise level of a car must not exceed 95 decibels, while the drive-by noise limit is 130 dB, so the Japanese coupe probably went above that.