SA22C:JDM Model Year History
The Japanese models parallel the US models fairly well.
Production started in March 1978
The Japanese cars, have a slightly different spec than the us cars did. The bumpers are the same, but the US bumpers are mounted on shock absorbers, and the Japanese cars have brackets. The Japanese cars also do not have any kind of door impact bars. In Japan the cars had a backseat. Mechanically the US and Japanese cars are the same.
The new "lean burn" catylist engine is introduced. The US did not recieve this until the 1981 model year. Mazda wanted to test out the new engine spec before it was exported. The engine exchanged the thermal reactor for a catylitic converter. in addition to saving 100kg, it also let the engineers jet the carburator leaner for a 20% decrease in fuel consumption.
The Rx-7 was facelifted in 1981, it got the same new bumpers, tail lights, and trim that every other market got. the exception is they did not get the rear side marker lights.
Mazda released the 12-SIP engine, in the RX-7 and the Cosmo. This is the first of the "6 port" induction engines. it uses valves (like the 84-92 13b's) to open up two more ports in the engine, this effectively lets the engine have smaller ports and more conservative timing, for more lower end power, and with the two auxillary ports open it has more high rpm power, than the 4 port designs. The "6-PI" engine has approximately 20% more hp and 20% more torque than the previous 4 port engine.
Mazda released the Turbo 12A engine, in the RX-7 and the Cosmo. This is Mazda's first turbocharged engine, it also used a then state of the art electronic fuel injection system. With its special "high impact" turbocharger, it delivered 160ps. The brakes and suspension were also revised, similar to the usa GSL-SE model, except that the japanese got 8 way adjustable shocks. The non turbo models kept the standard suspension and brakes. There were 3 models, GT, GT-X and SE-Limited. they are roughly equivalent to the us S/GS/GSL models. The big difference is that the Japanese cars were available with either engine. The interiors were also slightly revised. The face lift is similar to the facelift the US cars got for 1984, but the US got a completely new dashboard, where the Japanese market kept the same one. Carpets, Door panels and seats were new.