|Engine(s)||Mazda Wankel engine 13B|
The Mazda Roadpacer was a full-size sedan sold by Mazda Motor Corp. of Japan between 1975 and 1977. It was based on the Australian Holden Premier. Premiers were shipped to Japan without engines, and Mazda fitted a 1.3 L 13B Wankel engine into the bay. Although the engine produced 135 hp (100 kW) and 101 ft·lbf (138 Nm) of torque, the Roadpacer weighed 3,500 lb (1,575 kg).
While the 13B produced more power than the 6 cylinder engine fitted to the car as a Holden, the lack of torque meant performance was restrained with a 103 mph (166 km/h) top speed, poor acceleration and terrible fuel consumption. Contemporary reports suggest 9 mpg (26 L per 100 km).
While the Holden Premier itself was well endowed with items, Mazda decided to add many more, including some people had likely never heard of. Gadgets of note include a central locking system that activated when the car hit 10 km/h (6 mph), a chime system that activated at 90 km/h (56 mph), a dictation system and a stereo able to be controlled from both front and back seats.
The price was also not a bargain at 3.8 million yen (US$10,000) in 1975. This was about twice the price of a contemporary Mazda Cosmo. Originally intended as transport for high-ranking government officials, the car was sold in the wake of the first fuel crisis and was not a commercial success. Production ceased in 1977 with only 840 units sold.
The Roadpacer has the sole distinction of a General Motors product being fitted for production with a rotary engine.
Most were sold to government departments and were later crushed, meaning Roadpacers are rare nowadays; their counterpart model, the Holden Premier is considered a classic car in Australia; but the Roadpacer remains largely unheard of, or is believed to be a rumour.
Mazda Wankel rotary timeline