Profile: Who is RE Amemiya?

Profile: Who is RE Amemiya?

RE Amemiya RX-7 GT300

Japanese car tuners and the rotary engine – it’s a dream combination for many, and one that RE Amemiya made a reality, succeeding on both road and track in the process.

To some, the RE Amemiya name may only be synonymous with an obscure manufacturer on Gran Turismo, but the story behind RE Amemiya is much more than an appearance or two on the PlayStation.

Who is RE Amemiya?

The brains behind RE Amemiya is one Mr Isami Amemiya, who started a tuning company back in 1976 in Chiba prefecture near Tokyo, focusing on his love of the rotary engine, which puts the ‘RE’ in RE Amemiya.

Amemiya’s fondness of this potent powertrain led him naturally to the cars of Mazda, with this affiliation with the manufacturer leading to many exciting creations.

The vast majority of RE Amemiya’s models have been based on Mazda’s seminal RX-7, with the tuning house gaining plenty of exposure over the years, not least due to RE Amemiya’s exploits in national Japanese race events.

However, before gearing up for motorsports on the track, RE Amemiya cars were often seen sparring it out in Touge events, a display of cat and mouse between JDM machinery down the hills of Japan’s outer urban areas. 

If you’ve seen anything to do with Initial D, you’ll be able to visualise such an image with ease.

Japanese TV shows such as Hot Version would showcase these battles where RE Amemiya cars faced similarly tuned models from the likes of Amuse, Spoon and MCR (Matchless Crowd Racing), winning three Touge Monster titles for their efforts.

RE Amemiya in motorsport

After making a name for itself in the winding roads of Japan, it was time for RE Amemiya to try its hand on the track.

Setting out in 1995, RE Amemiya joined the ranks of the JGTC (Japanese Grand Touring Championship), and was the sole rotary-engined car in the field when it entered a 3-rotor 20B-powered Mazda RX-7 – a car that features in Gran Turismo.

RE Amemiya’s debut season in the JGTC was fairly successful, finishing third in the championship thanks to a run of results that included two wins and a second place.

The JGTC rebranded in 2005 to the better-known Super GT, where RE Amemiya competed for six seasons, taking the title in the GT300 class in 2006, followed by a runner’s up spot and a third place in 2009 and 2010 respectively.

Some may have also seen RE Amemiya compete in the D1 Grand Prix drifting series, with the team finding moderate success since first entering in 2004.

RE Amemiya RX-7

The Mazda RX-7 has been RE Amemiya’s weapon of choice for many years now, with its most iconic models taking the form of this sleek Japanese coupe.

Road-going models of the RE Amemiya RX-7 are hard to pin down in terms of spec detail, but you can expect a very aggressive exterior – not unlike the Super GT iterations – complete with an almost pincer-like frontend and a vast rear wing that would give a 911 RSR reason to be nervous.

To exaggerate the motorsport effect, many exterior components will be found to be of carbon fibre creation.

Under the bonnet, a RE Amemiya RX-7 will likely have a power output somewhere north of 300 hp thanks to all number of modifications. The RE Amemiya FD35 RX-7, for example, that features in GT7 can be found with 370 hp and a 176 mph top speed from its 13B rotary engine.