- Called the Mazda Savanna in Japan, the rotary powered Mazda RX-3 was launched in 1971.
- Piston engine versions were marketed as the Mazda 818, Mazda 808 and Mazda Grand Familia.
- Offered in coupe, saloon and estate body styles, more than 286,757 Mazda RX-3s were produced.
After celebrating its centenary in 2020, 2021 sees the 50th Anniversary of one of Mazda’s most interesting, adaptable and successful cars.
Often overlooked when compared to the later RX-7 coupe or the earlier and far rarer Mazda Cosmo, the Mazda RX-3 was a landmark car in Mazda’s history — a car that cemented Mazda’s association with the rotary engine at home and abroad, while its export success helped put Mazda on the map as a global automotive company.
Not only that, its success on the racetrack led the way for the accomplishments of the later and more famous RX-7. By the time production came to an end in 1978, 286,757 RX-3s had been produced — making it the biggest selling Mazda rotary outside of the RX-7. Additionally, the piston engine versions, called the Mazda 808, Mazda 818 or Grand Familia depending on the market, were also popular and adding lots more vehicles to the sales tally. And while it was the two-door coupe that was the most popular and is the best remembered today, the RX-3 was offered in coupe, saloon and estate body styles — making it the first Mazda rotary estate car.