This guide has been written for Mazda RX7 ‘Spirit R’ limited edition. The Spirit R was the final runout edition of the famous FD series shape, available only to the Japanese domestic market in 2002. In particular, this guide deals with the ‘Type A’ Spirit R, being the two seater coupe which accounted for over two thirds of the Spirit R’s small production run. ‘Type B’ and ‘C’ Spirit R cars will be outlined in a separate guide.

Produced from 1991 through to 2002, The FD RX7 is well known among RX7 enthusiasts, fuelled not only by the cars factory performance specifications, but also by the RX7’s significant global motorsport achievements. Although production numbers of the FD RX7 are near 70,000 in total, the special edition cars are becoming particularly desirable, and demand higher prices than others in the FD RX7 range. As a result, it is essential that you know what you are looking at as a prospective purchaser or existing owner of a Spirit R limited edition. This guide has been produced to assist you in distinguishing a genuine Spirit R from other models in the FD range.

Number produced: 1500 Spirit R cars were produced in total. More than two thirds of these are reported to be type A cars, however, a precise number has not been confirmed.

Period of Manufacture: April 2002 – August 2002

Please note, this guide has been written based on a variety of online sources and enthusiast input. You should not rely on this guide to make any purchasing decision and we make no representation that all information is accurate. You should always seek independent professional advice when looking to purchase a unique car. If you have additional information, photographs or corrections you believe need to be made to this page, please contact us by clicking the button at the top of this page, or comment below. 

1. Exterior Features - RX-7 Spirit R (Type A)

The RX7 Spirit R had the following external features as listed below. Note, where the feature is unique only to the Spirit R or the Spirit R ‘Type A’, this has been noted.


External features of the Version 6 (2001/2002) built cars:

  • Revised front bumper with pronounced numberplate holder and air intakes.
  • Revised front lip spoiler / diffuser (originally has a black plastic finish / unpainted).
  • Revised front end indicator and fog lamp design.
  • Adjustable rear wing (adjustable between 1° - 14.5°).
  • Tinted rear window.
  • Updated Mazda badges were applied in line with their international re-style.


Features unique to the Spirit R model:

  • Forged 17” by 8” forged alloy wheels at the front and 17” by 8.5” at the rear. (Type A wheels came in gun metal grey). Original wheels should have Mazda logo centre caps.
  • Originally fitted with Potenza S07 tyres, 235/45/R17 (front), 255/40/R17 (rear).
  • ‘Spirit R RX-7’ shield badge on the front fenders, positioned behind the side indicators.
  • The Spirit R was available in 5 colours, including a unique ‘Titanium Grey Metallic’, which was not available on other RX7s. See the ‘Paint Colours / Codes’ section of this guide for further details.
  • Red ‘Mazda’ brake callipers were applied to all Spirit R cars. 
2. Interior Features - RX-7 Spirit R (Type A)

The RX7 Spirit R had the following interior features as listed below. Note, where features are unique only to the Spirit R or the Spirit R ‘Type A’, this has been noted.


Interior features of all Version 6 (2001/2002) built cars:

  • Passenger airbag as standard.
  • Revised instrument cluster where the boost gauge replaced the position of the oil pressure gauge.
  • All gauges had white faces.
  • Air conditioning as standard.
  • Bose branded stereo system.
  • Lightweight alloy jack and forged alloy Enkei spare wheel (14" X 4").


Spirit R specific features:

  • The ‘Type A’ came as a two seater only.
  • 370mm leather wrapped 'Nardi' branded steering wheel with red stitching (380mm wheel applied to non-‘Spirit R’ models).
  • Gear lever and park brake handle also had red stitching applied.
  • Silver instrument cluster bezels, and a ‘Spirit R’ logo was printed on the tachometer. Instruments were backlit in orange.
  • A lighter grey plastic was used for the interior panels.
  • Driver knee pads were installed (see drivers side of console and drivers side door card).
  • Passenger side aluminium foot rest (unique to the Type A Spirit R).
  • Built in storage containers behind the front seats (unique to the Type A Spirit R).
  • Red carbon Kevlar ‘Recaro’ bucket seats (Unique to the Type A Spirit R).
  • RX7 branded floor mats (optional on the Spirit R).
  • Handbook with a small ‘Spirit R’ badge’ inset on the front cover, confirming the same production number and signature of the program manager as the Spirit R plaque located in the engine bay.
3. Paint Colours - RX-7 Spirit R (Type A)

The Mazda RX-7 Spirit R (Type A) was available in 5 colours.

These colours are listed in the table below with their Mazda paint code and equivalent Ditzler and Dupont codes. We note we have only been able to confirm the Mazda code for Innocent Blue Mica.


Paint Name Paint Code Ditzler Code Dupont Code
Innocent Blue Mica 20P - -
Pure White A3D 9813 45034
Brilliant Black PZ 5788 M0064
Vintage Red NT 75108 K9306
Titanium Grey Metallic 25G 5971 P4847


The Paint code is displayed on the chassis plate, located on the driver’s side firewall / bulkhead in the engine bay. See the images for a better description of the plate and paint code location.

4. Chassis & Model - RX-7 Spirit R (Type A)

Chassis Number / VIN Number:

The Chassis number / VIN number is a 10 Character identifier, as was applied to Mazda’s Japanese domestic market vehicles. Vehicles imported to other markets may have had an additional plate riveted to the bulkhead with a replacement VIN (depending on individual regulations). However, for the purposes of this identification guide, we refer to the original Japanese VIN stamped into the bulkhead. The Spirit R chassis number will appear in the following format:

FD3S-6XXXXX – where;

FD3S = Confirms the FD series Japanese domestic market car.

6 = Confirms the car is the 6th model version (i.e. one built after October 2000).

XXXXX = This is the unique chassis number for the car.

The chassis number on an FD RX7 is located in two positions. Firstly, it is embossed into the chassis plate, located on the driver’s side firewall / bulkhead in the engine bay. Secondly, the same matching code should be stamped into the central firewall / bulkhead. See the images for a better description of these locations and markings.


Model Number:

Under ‘Model’ on the chassis / VIN plate, the following code should be embossed: GF-FD3S.

GF = 6th generation of the FD RX7. (Previous non Spirit R models (5th gen) had ‘E’ in place of ‘GF’).

FD3S = as per the above, refers to the vehicle as a JDM FD series car.

5. Spirit R Identification Plaque

'Spirit R' plaque on bulkhead:

All Spirit R cars featured an individually numbered Spirit R plaque on the passenger side bulkhead / firewall. The individual serial number noted on the plaque refers to the vehicles production number out of the total 1500 units produced, as well as confirming the production site (Hiroshima), and the signature of the RX7 Spirit R program manager, Takao Kijima.


'Spirit R' handbook plaque:

A smaller 'Spirit R' plaque should also appear on the vehicles original handbook, and contain the matching serial number. See the attached images for a better description of these plaques and their locations.

The presence of these Spirit R plates does not guarantee that a car is a genuine Spirit R, and plates may easily be replicated. Each vehicle should be assessed according to a broad number of identifying features, many of which are listed in this guide.

6. Engine Number - RX-7 Spirit R (Type A)

The engine number on a Mazda RX7 will be a 6 digit number, generally prefixed by an ‘E’.

E.g. ‘E 123456’

The RX-7 Spirit R featured the same Rotary 13B-REW twin turbo engine as was used in other RX7 vehicles between 1991 – 2002, and are difficult to assess as ‘original’ without the assistance of Mazda. As the engine number bears no relation to the vehicles chassis number on face value, and is also not listed on the chassis plate, it is only possible to check whether the engine is original from very early documentation. If you really want to confirm your engine number is original to your car, you will have to contact Mazda of Japan directly, who reportedly hold records for each of the Spirit R cars, and may be able to provide you with such documentation proving the original engine supplied with your chassis number.

We also note that given the multiple components that make up the RX7s rotary engine, the one piece that contains the number may be the only original engine component, and the value of the engine number in these cars is therefore questionable, but perhaps still relevant for the special edition vehicles like the Spirit R.


Engine number location:

The engine number is located behind the alternator on the front housing of the engine. This can be particularly difficult to see, and the alternator as well as the vacuum chamber may have to be removed, and the area cleaned of grease see it clearly. We have provided a few images to try and explain this location as best as possible.


7. Mechanical Features - RX-7 Spirit R (Type A)

Standard features of the Version 6 (2001/2002) built cars:

  • 13B-REW (1308cc) rotary engine (R = Rotary E = Engine W = Twin turbo).
  • Twin turbochargers were designed by collaboration between Mazda and Hitachi for the Series 8 cars and received a revised exhaust wheel (50mm vs previous 51mm).
  • Revised intercooler ducting was applied to the later series RX7 cars (airbox 2.1 times larger than earlier models),
  • The oil cooler was 1.8 times larger than earlier models.
  • Revised muffler design with 10% less back pressure.
  • Larger walled and framed radiator added (retained the same volume but redesigned for better efficiency).
  • Boost changed from 9 PSI to 10.7 PSI.
  • Power steering force adjusted to lower pump force input.
  • ABS unit and software changed from 8 bit to 16 bit.
  • Revised brake ducting angle.
  • Engine clutch start interlock added.


Spirit R Type A specific features

  • Bilstein shock absorbers.
  • Hard type torsion LSD.
  • 314 mm (12.4") drilled brake rotors and red Mazda branded callipers.
  • Red front strut tower brace with RX7 badge riveted in the middle.
  • Dual oil coolers.
  • Originally fitted with Potenza S07 tyres. 235/45R17 (front), 255/40R17 (rear).
  • Front under body plastic diffuser / cover.
  • Curb weight: 1,280kg (often weighed to see if it was a genuine Spirit R Type A (other models differed in weight, with the Type B and Type C over 1290kg.
  • The Spirit R engine put out 206kW at 6500 RPM and 314Nm of torque at 5000RPM.
  • 5 speed manual transmission.
9. References - RX-7 Spirit R (Type A)

The following sources, among input from many enthusiasts, have contributed to the creation of this page. If you have any further information you believe can be added, please let us know by contacting us or commenting below.


immy_3642's picture

good day, i'm in the process of buying a mazda rx7 spirit type R. The information given is very informative and well laid out. Keep up the excellent work.