With Rocket Bunny arches and a 600whp engine, this wide body modified Mazda RX-7 FD is one of our favorite features from the archives.

Sometimes it’s the most unlikely things you encounter during your time on this funny ol’ planet that stick with you for the longest. Those random moments of inspiration that can completely shift the direction your life takes for years to come. For better or worse, we’ve all had ’em.

Adam’s modified car history

North Carolina resident Adam Kharbat can pinpoint the exact moment this phenomenon took hold of him a few years back. This carved out his car life for the foreseeable future and leaving him with this rip-snorting wide body Mazda RX-7 FD.

“I owned a 993 Porsche 911 a few years back, with a wide, GT2-style bodykit, rivets and all,” Adam’s eyes glaze over as he indulges in a fond memory. “It was ever since then that I’ve only ever wanted to own cars with riveted fairings”. Thankfully it wouldn’t take too long for him to live out his fantasies once again after selling up his Porsche, then.

Also owning and loving a Mk4 Supra back in the day, Adam knew from the off that his next take on the German bruiser he fell in love with all those years ago would come with a little more Oriental origin thrown into the mix once more. The search for his own example of the effortlessly stunning FD RX-7 starting back in 2015. Not that everything went completely smoothly, though…

head on shot of Wide Body Mazda RX-7 FD

Buying the Mazda RX-7 FD

“I found this near-stock black car that looked great, but was a 10-hour drive away,” Adam highlights his first minor hurdle faced with hunting down the perfect motor. The things we do for cars, eh? “I was cruising on the long journey home after picking it up when one of the rear tires blew right off the rim on the freeway! The third time I tried to correct it, it span out and I was left facing oncoming traffic.” Miraculously managing to limp his new toy to the hard shoulder without a scratch, it’s fair to say the car-owner relationship started in the most intense way possible!

Back in his NC hometown, things were thankfully drastically less eventful for the next few months of ownership, with Adam enjoying the twin-turbo rotary-powered coupé in its perfectly capable standard trim. Well until, that is, he was abruptly reminded about that old Porsche…

Rear shot of Wide Body Mazda RX-7 FD

Rocket Bunny wide body kit

“It all went down when I came across the Rocket Bunny kit for the RX-7,” he admits. And what a kit it is, seeming to do nothing but miracles to the car’s already tasty lines. And the most crucial part? It had the option of attaching it with rivets! “This was the turning point where I decided to restore the car in order to fit a kit like this to mine”. We can imagine the nostalgia cogs turning in Adam’s brain as he relived that Porsche dream once more.

Adam’s pride and joy hit his bodyshop to cut in order to accommodate the new wide curves. “After months down there, it sometimes felt like it would never be finished,” he admits. “But I realized shortly afterwards that it often all comes together in one go.” Sure enough, the substantial arch extensions, along with the matching side skirts and that must-have ducktail spoiler were eventually looking a million dollars when attached to the car (with exposed rivets, it kind of goes without saying).

With plenty of Rocket Bunny-kitted RX-7s dotted around nowadays, Adam was keen to add his personal touch in the form of a cut-away rear bumper with those insane exposed exhaust pipes. Looking like something straight out of a late-night Bosozoku cruise on the back streets of Tokyo, the rear end is now more than a match for the savagery on offer elsewhere on this beast. Just don’t touch those back boxes after a long drive…

Side profile shot of rocket bunny FD RX-7

Chassis changes

Propped up on some suitably JDM WedsSport splits wheels in a frankly outrageous width (12.5 inches out back – yes really!) and statically dropped on some D2 coilovers (another rarity with Rocket Bunny-kitted cars, most of which opt for air suspension systems), it was time for Adam to begin thinking about how he could get a little closer to being able to smoke those humongous 315-profile rear tires should the urge arise.

Tuned rotary engine

Wide body Mazda RX-7 engine upgrades

“It used to be my daily, but I can’t do that anymore because the neighbors complain,” Adam hints at the madness that’s now on tap from that leftfield Wankel lump up front. Ditching the sequential turbo system for one dinner plate-sized BorgWarner snail, along with more fuel pumps than you’d find at your local Esso, he wasn’t messing around when it came to the rebuild of his 13B engine.

Internally, Adam has strengthened a lot of the Mazda’s powertrain components. His list of mods includes the likes of balanced rotors and a billet eccentric shaft, as well as the modification that creates the serious brapping noise: a J-port Nicknamed the ‘monster port’. J-porting is similar to a bridge port on the engine’s triangular rotors, but this time they’re bored out past the rotor’s face and through to the water seals.

While this can make the engine fairly temperamental without anything but military-grade levels of maintenance at all times, the benefits are enormous – allowing Adam’s car to kick out 600whp now the turbo has been mapped to run a decent amount of boost. It does make for one hell of a noisy ride, though, as anyone who’s ever been within a mile-wide vicinity of this road weapon will vouch.

rear 3/4 shot of rocket bunny FD


With its exposed rivets and no-nonsense rear end, Adam’s wide body Mazda RX-7 carries the savage aesthetic of a fighter jet from the outside. The fact it idles and revs like its legendary race car ancestor, the Le Mans-winning 787B, too, suggests it’s perhaps only tolerable to use in small doses. But surprisingly, Adam’s left his cream leather interior fairly comfortable and street-focused, reflecting his desire to whip his toy out of the garage as much as physically possible. And we can’t blame him one bit. It sure looks like one hell of a ride. Just remember to warn the neighbors before starting her up…

Feature from September 2017. Words: Sam Preston. Photography Mike Kuhn.

Wide body Mazda RX-7 FD images

Tech Spec: Wide Body Mazda RX-7 FD


Full Rocket Bunny wide-arch kit (comprising front and rear flared arches; side skirts and modified ducktail spoiler); vented bonnet; custom cut-away rear bumper and splitter.


13B-REW twin-rotor Wankel rotary engine; ‘Monster’ J-ported; balanced rotors; billet eccentric shaft; BorgWarner S366 single turbo; twin Turbosmart wastegates; 4 x ID1700 and 2 x ID1000 Injector Dynamics fuel injectors; Haltech PS1000 ECU tuned by Aaron Coppland.


OEM five-speed manual gearbox and OEM differential.


D2 coilovers; Wilwood four-pot front brake callipers; 10.5x18in (front) and 12.5x18in (rear) Weds Kranze Cerberus-2 split rims; 255/35×18 (front) and 315/35×18 (rear) TOYO tyres.


Re-trimmed in cream leather; Recaro bucket seats; Haltech IQ3 Street Dash digital dashboard; 300mm Sparco steering wheel.