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Mazda RX4 Information & History

The Mazda RX4 (called the Luce Rotary in Japan) was a larger car than its rotary-powered contemporaries, the Capella-based RX-2 and Familia-based RX-3. It shared the Luce/929 chassis, replacing the R130 in October of 1972, and was produced through October 1977. Its predecessor (the R130) and replacement (the rotary Luce Legato) were not sold in the United States.

The RX4 was initially available as a hardtop coupe and sedan, with a station wagon launched in 1973 to replace the Savanna Wagon. Under the hood at first was a 120 hp 12A engine, but this was replaced by the larger 13B in 1974 for export. This engine was Mazda's new "AP" (for "anti-pollution") version, with much-improved emissions and fuel economy, but somewhat worse cold-starting behavior.

The car used an strut-type independent suspension in front with a solid axle in the rear. Brakes were discs in front and drums in the rear. Curb weight was low at 2620 lb and the wheelbase fairly short at 99 in. The body was freshened in 1976.

For the United States market, the RX-4 was sold from 1974 through 1978, when the RX-7 debuted. The 13B produced 110 hp and 117 ft.lbf in United States emissions form. Base pricing was $4295, with the automatic transmission ($270) and air conditioning ($395) the only expensive options.

Road & Track magazine was impressed, noting the car's improved fuel economy and price compared to the RX-3. This was notable, as the Wankel engine had suffered by the mid 1970s with a reputation as a gas-guzzler. Performance was good in a 1974 comparison test of six wagons, with a 11.7 s sprint to 60 mph and an 18 s/77.5 mph quarter-mile. The magazine noted that the wagon's brakes suffered from the extra 300 lb (136 kg)weight compared to the coupe. The RX-4 was on Road & Track magazine's Ten Best list for "Best Sports Sedan, $3500-6500" in 1975.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from articles at Wikipedia - The Free Encyclopedia

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