In 1972 all rotary engines had their die-cast rotor housing coated with a new process: The new Transplant Coating Process (TCP) featured sprayed-on steel which is then coated with chrome, giving greatly increased engine life. It was available from September, 1971 through 1978 in Super deluxe coupé, Deluxe sedan, and station wagon forms. The deluxe coupe was heavier (884 kg vs 864 kg) and carried an optional body stripe, clock, rear defogger and the centre console/high armrest and collapsible steering column.
All Series 1 RX-3s came with the 982 cc (2x491 cc) 10A. It was based on the compact Mazda Grand Familia (808/818/Mizer in export markets) and was sold in Japan as the Mazda Savanna. Sold from 1972 through 1978 in the United States, the RX-3 was extremely successful.
It originally used a 10A rotary engine like the Mazda R100, but American cars shared the larger 12A engine from the RX-2. Performance-wise the 10A RX-3 wasn't able to match the RX-2 with 12A. With a power-to-weight ratio of 10.9 kg per kW compared to the RX-2's 9.9 kg per kW, the RX-3 was slower. Aussie motoring journalists did well to push 17.6 second quarters at 76 mph (122 km/h) out of the lighter sedan (16.3 for the RX-2). Performance-wise the 12A RX-3 wasn't able to match the RX-2 with 12A either, despite its lighter weight. See 1973 for details.
- Front Track: 1,295 mm (51.0 in)
- Rear Track: 1,295 mm (51.0 in)
The Aero Design DG-1 racing aircraft used two RX-3 engines, each driving a propeller - one at the front, the other at the rear of the aircraft. For more information of the MAZDA RX-3 please click here.