competed in the affordable sports car segment with the likes of the Nissan Fairlady Z. The styling was inspired by the Lotus Elan 2+2. It featured a unique twin-rotor Wankel rotary engine and a sporty front-midship, rear-wheel drive layout, making it well balanced and appropriate for racing. The RX-7 was a direct replacement for the RX-3 (both were sold in Japan as the Savanna) and subsequently replaced all other Mazda rotary cars with the exception of the Cosmo.
The original RX-7 was a true sports coupé design, as opposed to a sports car like the Triumph TR6 or a sedan with sporting intentions. The compact and light-weight Wankel engine, also known as a rotary engine is situated slightly behind the front axle. It was offered in America as a two-seat coupé, with four seats being optional in Japan, Australia, and other parts of the world.