Aftermarket Icon: The RE Amemiya RX-7
For 7’s day 2018, we will look at a pair of FD RX-7s that have cemented themselves as the definitive style icons for the Rotary Mazda. We have here the first among the two – the car that made people see just how much the RX-7 is truly capable of.
I will admit, growing up as a kid the FD3S RX-7 wasn’t the apple of my eye during the earlier years. Truth be told, the Zenki (early model) body just felt like there was something missing. The body, while edgeless and distinguishable through its svelte coke-bottle profile, lacked a certain aggression to it. It felt as if the RX-7 just didn’t have enough muscle underneath the curves. Of course this would all change once the Kouki (facelifted) version came into play, but then the more recognizable – and most striking – changes to the FD would come from the aftermarket.
Following binge watching of Best Motoring Hot Version Touge battles as well as paying religious attention to Initial D during my teenage years, I’ve become familiar with just how much you can build upon the body and performance of the RX-7. Plenty of shops and teams have their own version of the lithe Mazda coupe, but few would stack in performance and style against RE Amemiya. Thanks to their consistent performance in Super GT, Super Taikyu, and all those Best Motoring Tsukuba Lap Battles, RE Amemiya have cemented themselves not only as the go-to Rotary performance shop, but as an icon of the JDM aftermarket altogether.
Among the countless FDs the Chiba outfit have built, perhaps the instantly recognizable one would be the Light Blue AD GT version you see here. Clearly built as a tribute to the original car, this particular car is sporting the most accurate RE Amemiya demo FD3S look around town – and there’s no stone left unturned to bring the RX7 to this spec.
The iconic AD GT kit sets itself apart from standard fare with several key details. The front end becomes more aggressive thanks to the Facer AD02 front bumper and the AD Hood-9 bonnet. Apart from transforming the RX-7’s front end, the bumper and hood serve to channel more air in and out of the engine bay – these rotaries run really hot after all. Another signature touch of the Amemiya FD sees the removal of the pop-up headlamps in favor of a streamlined fixed headlamp setup housing two pairs of IPF lamps.
In the bid for more traction AD GT front and rear fenders widen the FD by about 20mm, thereby allowing for wider wheels and tires to be fitted. This FD sticks to the Amemiya formula by mounting a set of Enkei RPF1s in 18x9.5 +15 up front and 18x10.5 +15 out back. Behind the RPF1’s thin spokes lie a set of Greddy 6-pot Big Brakes front and rear – ensuring this 7 will stop just as well as it goes.
Despite looking like they’re made for show, the rear section completes the ensemble with the AD GT Wing and rear diffuser – both pieces that guarantee stability at high cornering speeds. The Amemiya AD GT rear diffuser made for such a nice part that some folks even try to retrofit them into other vehicles like GDB STIs and S2000s. This particular piece sits right at home where it belongs though.
This particular FD’s interior had a lot more work put into it compared to other RX7s in town. For starters, the base car itself is an original left hand drive unit with complete panels and interior bits intact - a rarity even among local RX-7 folk. Among the little changes added were the RE Amemiya shift knob, Defi Gauges, and a pair of Bride Stradia bucket seats.
Considering this RX-7 made its rounds as a show car, the engine bay had a lot of attention paid to it as well. A full wire tuck brings out the prominent pieces of the bay like the V-Mount intercooler and the Borgwarner big single turbo. Pushing roughly 400hp, the Amemiya kit has its work cut out for keeping the power in check at speed.
Thanks to the efforts of RE Amemiya, rotary enthusiasts around the world have had constant support and motivation to push the RX-7’s temperamental engine. This car is a constant reminder of what the FD RX-7 truly stands for: raw power with the right balance and handling. So, are you ready to see the next FD we have lined up?
Words by Aurick Go