No, this is not an April Fools' Day prank. This RX-7 uses an 800-cc (49-cubic-inch) engine from an Arctic Cat snowmobile to move around. Why would anyone do this to a classic Japanese rig that's a sought-after collectible, you ask? Well, I don't have the answer, but I think this build is so crazy it's actually cool (except for the botched rhinoplasty that acts as a hood).
Naturally, the swap turned the Mazda RX-7 into a completely different car. It won't start until you pull the cord under the hood, it makes a lot of noise, and it vibrates like crazy, even when sitting at idle. And it kinda sounds like a lawnmower. Is it fast? Well, let's say that it's not as slow as you think, and it makes for a fun vehicle if you like doing donuts.
But while the Arctic Cat under the hood is rated at 145 horsepower from the factory, a lot less than that hits the rear wheels of this Mazda. The dyno run that you can find at the 25-minute mark reveals that this RX-7 hits the ground with only 80 horsepower.
Where's the rest of the Arctic Cat's oomph? Well, apparently, the setup under the hood plus the fact that the engine mates to a CVT make about 40% of the power vanish toward the wheels.
Despite all that, it's an interesting experiment. And all the folks that take the RX-7 for a drive seem to have a lot of fun. And I'm not going to lie. While I'd love to see this Mazda restored to original specifications, I'd also drift the heck out of it. Because why not.