Two JDM Legends Go Head To Head On The Drag Strip. The Winner Might Surprise You.by Dim Angelov, on
A drag race between two 1990s JDM legends is always going to be an epic one, which is why the YouTube channel Hoonigan refers to this as “hands down, the best episode we are ever going to make”. We are talking about two of the most coveted tuner cars from Japan – the Acura NSX and the Mazda RX-7. Moreover, both cars are (almost) stock, which is a very rare thing to see. It will be interesting to see how the two cars perform after nearly 30 years and whether they’d survive the race.
The two Japanese cars are very similar in terms of peak power and curb weight. The NSX weighs in at 3,000 pounds (1,360 kg), while the RX-7 – 2,888 pounds (1,310 kg). Their engines produce 270 and 257 horsepower respectively, but while the NSX uses a transversely-mounted 3.0-liter naturally-aspirated V-6 in the middle, the RX-7 uses a 1.3-liter twin-turbo, dual rotor unit. Both cars send power to the rear through a five-speed manual.
We mentioned that the cars are mostly stock, but there are some minor mods. For the NSX, those include two-way adjustable KW Clubsport coil-over suspension, an exhaust, a K&N air filter, and a removed seat cushion on the driver’s seat, so the tall driver can fit.
The RX-7 on the other hand has a catless exhaust, which is “Number one mod for a turbo car – catless downpipe”, the NSX owner exclaims. The RX-7 owner says the car is detuned “for safety”, so that’s why it makes “only” 257 horsepower. The Mazda also has Ohlins dampers and Toyo R888. The most tasteful mod, however, is the Volk TE37s with a bronze finish and “period-correct ride height and offset”.
The two almost stock cars line up for a 1,000 feet head to head drag race. The NSX jumps the first race and the RX-7 driver misses a gear, allowing the mid-engine Acura to win. Race two is a proper heads-up race, but the NSX still gets the jump on the RX-7. However, thanks to a great start and perfect shifting, the rotary rocket takes the win.
The RX-7 driver debates that if they keep racing the rotary might give out. However, that doesn’t stop him from participating in the third, decisive, race, with a 10 mph (16 km/h) rolling start. This time the race is much closer and the winner barely eeks out a win. Who exactly won? We’ll give you a hint: it was the Japanese car.