1997 Mazda RX-7
Small, low, and very fast, the third-generation RX-7 is light-years away from its distant ancestor, the Mazda Cosmo of the 1960s. Mazda is well-known as the only company left still developing the Wankel rotary engine, and while the Renesis engine in the RX-8 represents the latest evolution of the concept, the FD-generation RX-7 represents the ultimate street performance variation. The high-output 1.3-liter 13B-REW under the sculpted hood is the first mass-produced sequential twin-turbo design, co-developed with turbo manufacturer Hitachi. The first turbo, active from 1,800 to 4,000 RPMs, produces 10 PSI of boost, but after that the second, larger turbo provides an additional 10 PSI—resulting in 261 smooth-as-silk horsepower and staggering performance. The 13B series of engines is essentially modular, and stacking four rotor housings together produced the powerplant of the 787B, the only Japanese car to ever win outright at Le Mans. How’s that for performance heritage?