Classics for sale: Group B Mazda RX7

Group B created many motor sport icons, but few as unique as the Mazda RX7 B-255. This rotary-engined competition car punched well above its weight

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Back in the 1980s, Group B made rallying more popular than Formula 1. These extreme cars, piloted by some of the world’s most talented drivers, provided an unrivalled spectacle. Leaping through the air, skimming across loose gravel, breathing fire… they were the devil’s work on four wheels, and people could not get enough.

Mazda made the step up from Group 2 to Group B in 1984, to create a very unique contender indeed. Meet the RX7 Evolution.

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Group B cars pushed engineering boundaries, but the RX7 actually made many of its competitors appear rather conventional. While everyone else was using technology as old-fashioned as pistons for combustion, the RX7 featured a rotary engine. This was a trait of the standard FD road car, but the composition of the high-revving unit enabled excellent weight distribution for motor sport.

Mazda Rally Team Europe didn’t have the big budgets of Audi or Lancia, but what it lacked in funding it made up for in ingenuity. The rear wing was incorporated into the swollen wheelarches required for a wider track — an elegant means of generating rear downforce without creating unwanted turbulence. Composite materials used throughout the design meant that the RX7 B-255 remained light and agile.

Some people will point out that the RX7’s lack of all-wheel drive put it on the back-foot against cars such as the Peugeot T16 and Audi Quattro. While it is undeniable that all-wheel drive was becoming the future of rallying, the RX7 achieved an impressive third-place finish at the 1985 Acropolis Rally, proving that a rear-wheel-drive layout was still competitive.

Sadly, the RX7’s time in action was cut short due to Group B being disbanded. However, there are surviving examples of this special RX-7, with an ‘as new’ car currently featuring in our classifieds.

This works rally car was constructed in 1985, but never got its chance to compete. As a result, it’s totally unblemished. Originality has been a point of pride for its owner, with the car never being converted for other categories of motor sport. ‘Maintained regardless of cost’ and with plenty of attention to detail, this RX7 might just be the most authentic in existence. It is currently for sale with AutoVelo at £169,500.

You should check out the video below to see and hear a Group B RX7 at full chat.

Find out more about the car for sale here.

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