The Wankel rotary engine provided many advantages over some engines in other sports cars. It was lightweight, but also compact, which allowed it to be mounted behind the front axle. This made the weight distribution of the car very nearly equal from front to rear, which can be a huge asset when driving around corners.
There were only three generations of this car, which shows how much time the engineers as Mazda must have spent making sure each new redesign was just right. The first generation SA/FB was sold from 1978 until 1984. These cars were broken down into three variations, the Series 1, Series 2, and Series 3. The engines in these cars were very effecient with gasoline use. They could get 29 miles per gallon, but at the same time put up some impressive performance numbers. It could run up to 120 miles per hour. The engine ran too smooth for manual transmission drivers. Even at high speeds it was hard for the driver to tell when the engine was at high RPM, so Mazda had to fit a buzzer on the tachometer to tell the driver it was time to shift.
The second generation FC was sold from 1985 until 1991, and it was clearly styled after the Porsche 928. These cars were affordable compared to other sports cars and there were many things that the driver could tune to improve performance. For this reason, many owners still prefer the FC to the later FD versions of the RX-7. A convertible version with a turbocharged engine was introduced in 1988 and proved to be a big success.
The third generation FD was only sold in the United States from 1993 through 1995. This car is considered one of the best handling cars of all time, making it a favorite among drivers. Despite a retail price far below what one would pay for a Porsche or a Dodge Viper, it had performance capabilities to keep up with the big boys on a road track. The US trim levels with the Base, Touring, and R.
These cars became famous in their early years for maintaining their new price. In 1984, a 3 year old model would sell for 94% of its original new price, an amazing figure. You can find these on the used market, but you'll have to look hard. I'm lazy and I like a good deal, so I just watch the listings on eBay and see if I can pick one up for cheap. There are also thousands of listings for parts on there.