Car Spotlight>> James Deane’s Sr20 Rx7

The Formula D season kicked off this weekend gone in Long Beach, heralding the beginning of another season of drifting in the northern hemisphere. Some 5,000 miles away in Cork City in the south of Ireland, James Deane has just removed the covers from his 2012 Mazda RX7 which he will use to campaign this season.

Earlier this week, I was invited to Full Stop Auto Centre to get a sneak preview of the build. James successfully campaigned this car in 2010, earning himself that season’s driver’s crown in the Prodrift Series. Returning to the car this year, he has kept things relatively simple in a perfect case in point of ‘if it ain’t broke’ …

When I met James and his team, they had just spent a long day on the dynapacks at Trackday Performance. With some minor issues still to sort out, they had already seen a power run of over 500BHP from the turbocharged Nissan engine.

Obviously the decision to use an SR20 will be a polarizing decision. James himself told me that he would like to run a rotary in future, but for now, he is more than happy with the SR20 setup – power, reliability and an array of cheap parts combined with his own and Deane M-Sport’s experience with the engine made this a no-brainer decision.

Other changes include the obvious addition of a BN Sports wide arch kit and a colour change.

The car will be ready for the opening round of Prodrift next weekend, where we at Speedhunters wish James and his team the very best of luck for the 2012 season. We’ll be bringing you an in-depth feature of the car later in the season …

Paddy McGrath

James Deane on Speedhunters

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Can't believe how quickly the standard of competition cars in Ireland has come along! To hell with crippling insurance and fuel costs in this country, speedhunting is well and truly kicking


well said clan


i got no problem with swapping engines. but why sr20? why not a full v8?




Wow. An SR20 Rx7. That's a whole new meaning of sexiness. Gorgeous photos as always.


The SR20DET is such an impressive engine. People swap them out for RB's and swap them in to everything.


Best of luck to him. Looks like a beauty. and @clan. Agreed


Bes of luck to him. I echo what @clan says too. This is such a beautiful beast. Thanks for the post guys.


This looks like it has potential


teh f*ck? well at least he kept a japanese motor and not a v8...very clean fd regardless of being soulless


wtf tis this...i appreciate the uniqueness but swaping out a rotary for an SR....thats just dumb


How exactly is it dumb? He's building this car to win a championship, not to appease rotary enthusiasts. He's more comfortable working with SR engines and it's running 500+BHP - It seems a perfectly logical solution to me. - PMcG


I love your website, great photo content of some amazing Japanese cars. Thank you!

This RX7 is badass, nice paint sceem


I am surprised to see a german "Vogtland Federn" suspension poster at the wall ... Is Vogtland known in the states?


Photos were taken in Ireland :-) - PMcG


im liking this alot


What a good way to mix Nissan - Mazda.

Really want to see that monsters Drifting.


This is dope! and its not another lame v8


@Yanes I dont know maybe its due to LS engines being quite hard to get cheap in the EU and SR's are cheap as chips given our S14's all had them out of the box. (I had to fight so hard not to give my first reaction of "because he's not a tool" )

As for the car I dont know why he swapped out the enigne OK the SR might be cheaper upkeep wise but the 13b is not some obscure engine. But it is nice to know its not off the cards in the long run.


This car needs a Rex powering it .... A 20b would be the business!


i'm glad to see you're not running a giant turbo either. turbo lag sucks ass.


At least its not an American engine.


Yuck, waste of an RX7.....use an S chassis or similar if you want to run an SR, not a fan of this! I suppose at least it's not a V8.


Not a fan of this at all, needs to be rotary all the way!


10th picture. That's alot of stigs


glad the viper is back but i have to admit, the front end looks like a blatant copy of a 599


I know that putting an SR into an FD is something different... that which makes it interesting or special but I don't really agree with the choice and hafta agree with some people doggin it. I'm not saying you should've went with an LSX swap (infact, Im one thats for anything but) but what i am saying is an RB26 or 2JZ would've been more bow-inspiring. But since the swap was chosen for function over form... I can't complain or insult it. I have atleast a little bit of respect for the conversion... I'd just NEVER consider doing it myself.


Ferdinand Porsche will be missed.

idolised him as a designer for years.


I don't get why people bitch and moan about putting a V8 into a Japanese car or a Nissan engine into an RX7. It really shows a lack of understanding about market prices, reliability, available power / torque and ease of tuning / tuning support.

At the end of the day, every car is exactly the same: 4 wheels, chassis, steering wheel, seats, frame, etc...who gives a shit what powers it?

I LOVE the people saying "WELL AT LEAST HE DIDNT USE A V8." Why?

V8s (as in the LS) are one of the most tunable motors in the world. They are easy to modify and cheaper to get big results than any rotary engine could ever hope to be. I love rotaries, but to make that kind of comment is flat out uneducated.

A lot of you guys would benefit from reading a book or two, or talking to some reputable engine builders / experienced racers. Some of the posters here need to learn a thing or two before they decide to open their traps...


RIP Ferdinand Porsche. Iconic man, Iconic car.

Lots of great news this week to offset the bad!


love the post please keep them coming. thanks!!




Wack, no Rotary. Try again.


Put the rota moata back in!


@Comment  Because V8's ruin rotaries even inline 6's.


At least it isn't a LS Swap.