Not Just Another V8 Swapped RX-7

This story was featured over at and we felt it was good enough to share. Not to steal their thunder, I’ll paraphrase a bit.

Craig Taylor knew all along he wanted to swap a V8 into something small to go fast. He looked at many possible cars to use but didn’t see anything that fit the bill until one day he stumbled upon a Mazda RX-7 with a blown 13B engine (surprise) at rotary shop. He let the seller keep the rotary engine and transmission as they weren’t going to be needed. It started with a 4.6 from a Range Rover and after some 5.0 bottom end parts and head work the engine made a respectable 345 ponies. That was doing pretty good in the early 2000’s but not enough to satisfy Craig.

While in need for a transmission upgrade, Craig sourced an LS1 from a wrecked Monaro and swapped that in place of the Range Rover’s 5.0. This setup made 580 horsepower after a quick stroke but it wasn’t enough. Craig sold that engine and picked up an LS3 for it’s thicker walls and stroked that to 7.1 liters with a big cam.

If you’re sensing a trend you’re right. Naturally aspirated power wasn’t cutting it so in went a twin turbo setup. This RX-7 from hell now produces over 1,000 horsepower and nearly matching torque figures on 14.7 PSI of boost. With this much power the rear end needed to be swapped out for something with better gearing and strength. The Dodge Viper’s 3.08:1 matched just fine.

His buddies ride liter sport bikes but they’re no match for the RX-7. Even at a mild 4 PSI the Mazda will outrun a Hayabusa. At 14.7 PSI the RX-7 paces a Yamaha R1 while roasting the tires. When the tire finally catch, liter class sport bikes disappear in the rear view mirror. “They’re not slow bikes either – the Mazda is genuinely quite fast.” says Craig. “But I could put 1.5bar (22psi) in it and it would do 1,500hp easily, but it’s still an alloy block. So if I put the LSX block in it, just as it is, and put 2bar (29psi) through it, it would do 1,800hp to 1900hp.”

There’s so much more to this car than the engine. Head on over to to check out the full article and more photos there.

Video shot by Bryn Musselwhite>/i>


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