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Car video reviews:

Body style: Coupé (two-door)
Segment: Coupe

Mazda started introducing rotary engines since the Japanese regulations less taxed them, and the RX3 was an important step forward in that area.

Mazda offered the RX3 as a replacement for the previous RX2 model. It was available as a coupe, sedan, or station wagon. The Japanese carmaker tried to make the vehicle sporty enough to appeal to the younger generation but comfortable and well equipped for young families.

At the front, it featured dual round headlights and a separate grille between them as the original 1964 ½ Mustang. Even if it was way shorter than the famous pony-car, the RX3 featured a sloped rear window, making the car look even smaller. In the rear, the Japanese designers installed another pair of dual taillights, like some other European carmakers.

Inside, Mazda installed vinyl-covered seats with embossed "pleats" and emblems, but with good finishes. The instrumentation was complete with two main dials in the instrument cluster, and four additional gauges mounted high on the center stack. The Japanese designers placed the radio above the HVAC system, which was a much logical solution. Mazda installed a badge in the middle of the three-spoke steering wheel with the rounded triangular shape of a Wankel rotary engine piston.

The 1.2-liter Wankel engine was designed, so the owner paid smaller taxes, and it offered 90 hp. It was an unusually high specific output. Yet, the fuel-efficiency was worse than most of the similar cars on the market. Its live rear axle with leaf springs was unsuitable for a sporty coupe, but at least it featured power brakes with discs at the front and drums in the rear.

MAZDA RX-3 1971 - 1978 4 Photos
MAZDA RX-3 (1971 - 1978)MAZDA RX-3 (1971 - 1978)MAZDA RX-3 (1971 - 1978)MAZDA RX-3 (1971 - 1978)
MAZDA RX-3 1971 - 1978
  1 gasoline engine
  • 2.0 Rotary

MAZDA RX-3 2.0 Rotary

ENGINE SPECS  –  2.0 Rotary
Cylinders
R2
Displacement
1964 cm3
Power
81 KW @ 7000 RPM
110 HP @ 7000 RPM
109 BHP @ 7000 RPM
Torque
100 lb-ft @ 4000 RPM
135 Nm @ 4000 RPM
Fuel System
Carburetor
Fuel
Gasoline
PERFORMANCE SPECS
Top Speed
115 mph (185 km/h)
Acceleration 0-62 Mph (0-100 kph)
10.8 s
TRANSMISSION SPECS
Drive Type
Rear Wheel Drive
Gearbox
Manual, 4 Speed
BRAKES SPECS
Front
Discs
Rear
Discs
TIRES SPECS
Tire Size
155/80-R13
DIMENSIONS
Length
160 in (4064 mm)
Width
63 in (1600 mm)
Height
54 in (1372 mm)
Front/rear Track
51/51 in (1,295/1,295 mm)
Wheelbase
90 in (2286 mm)
Aerodynamics (Cd)
0.4
WEIGHT SPECS
Unladen Weight
1949 lbs (884 kg)
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