The Japanese are an odd bunch. They work all the time, have weird-ass game shows, and make some of the most boring cars on the planet. However the thing about Japan is that for every boring car that's engineered there's a madman somewhere. A madman, high on cocaine and on the ecstasy of finally understanding Evangelion's ending, that is designing a car. And in this fervor of ecstasy makes the equivalent of sex on wheels. And the good thing? Almost every single one of the companies have one of these madman! Nissan's made a GTR, Mitsubishi's made the EVO, Subaru's made the SVX (However after that guy died of an overdose, his replacement made the STIs that came afterwards), Toyota's made the MKIV twin turbo Supra and the LFA.
Finally, we come to Mazda. Many of us love Mazda for their creation of the RX series and the Miata. However beyond all of these other madmen's creations, the man who designed the Turbo'd FD RX7 is more insane than any other (yes, even more so than the guy who made the SVX). You see, it is not one thing in particular that made the Turbo'd RX7 insane. No, it was all of these things smushed together that made it truly insane!
While all of the other companies were using engines with pistons, the madman used a rotary engine. An engine mind you that had a startup and shutdown procedure, on a street car, a street car that was designed to be daily driven. However because of this crazy engine, in the car's ultimate form of the RX7 Spirit R, it allowed the car to rocket 0-60 MPH in 4.9 seconds, just .8 of a second slower than Ferrari's flagship 550 Maranello. The car also handled very well because of that temperamental engine's light weight, that along with only giving the car a 2800 pound curb weight also gave it a perfect 50:50 weight distribution.
However, beyond any of the things I just listed, the most insane thing about the RX7 came from when it was sparkling on the showroom floor. The price. Since I used the Spirit R for the 0-60 time, it's only fair that I use it again for this point. In 2002 a new RX7 Spirit R would set you back a cool 3,998,000 yen or $39255.16 US dollars. Adjusting for inflation, if you wanted to buy a new RX7 Spirit R today it would cost you $51,911.08. Now that may sound like a lot, that's because it is. However the price was actually pretty good when you considered the amount of performance that you got for that money. You could outrun Ferraris! And not even just Mondials! Ones that weren't even that old at the time, like the 456 and the F355! So somewhere, there is a man who designed one of the greatest and strangest sport cars in the history that kicked the shit out of an italian race horse at only a fraction of a cost. And I think we can all take solace in knowing that he is probably has a shit eating grin on his face on his cocaine covered face.