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Rotary Engine-powered Cosmo Sport Was Filled With Mazda’s Passion

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TEXT: 青木邦敏(AOKI Kunitoshi)  PHOTO: 青木邦敏(AOKI Kunitoshi)

  • Mazda Cosmo Sport with rotary engine launched in 1967
  • Mazda Cosmo Sport with rotary engine launched in 1967
  • Mazda Cosmo Sport with rotary engine launched in 1967
  • Mazda Cosmo Sport with rotary engine launched in 1967
  • Mazda Cosmo Sport with rotary engine launched in 1967
  • Mazda Cosmo Sport with rotary engine launched in 1967
  • Mazda Cosmo Sport with rotary engine launched in 1967
  • Mazda Cosmo Sport with rotary engine launched in 1967
  • Mazda Cosmo Sport with rotary engine launched in 1967
  • Mazda Cosmo Sport with rotary engine launched in 1967
  • Mazda Cosmo Sport with rotary engine launched in 1967
  • Mazda Cosmo Sport with rotary engine launched in 1967
  • Mazda Cosmo Sport with rotary engine launched in 1967

Rotary engine is lightweight, compact, and highly efficient

The Rotary engine, proposed by Dr. Wankel of Germany in the early 1950s, was characterized by a triangle-shaped rotor rotating inside a cocoon-shaped casting. Comparing traditional reciprocating engines with cylinder-and-piston, its quite high efficiency was quantum-leap performance. 

Officially launched in 1967

It attracted worldwide attention and expectation as the next generation of combustion engines. Many manufacturers around the world were challenged to realize this theory to products, but it was not simple, new concepts bring many difficulties.

Toyota and Mazda recognized the potential of rotary in the early phase, making research and development. But same as others, faced many problems to realize as a product. Then finally, only Mazda as a Japanese manufacturer solved problems one by one,

A new sports car was on the turntable at the 11th Tokyo Motor Show in 1964. It was a “reference exhibit” named Cosmo Sport, smartly claimed with the rotary engine, even though that power train was the world’s first 2-rotor rotary engine

In 1967, three years after the breathtaking announcement at the Tokyo Motor Show, Cosmo Sport made its debut as a production car, equipped unprecedented rotary engine.

Cosmo Sport, powered by a 10A rotary engine, debuted as a front-engine rear-drive sports car with double wishbones in front and rigid suspension in the rear. At the time, the price was 1.45 million yen, the Honda S800 coupe was 680k yen, and the Toyota Crown Super Deluxe at 1.22ml yen. It showed how expensive the price of Cosmo Sport is.

Specialties of rotary, Smooth rotation, and high power

10A rotary with displacement only 1.000cc, maximized the power 110ps at 7000rpm.it was already reach the 100ps per 1 litter in 1960s, passed perfect match for compact sports car.  Also, the smooth rotation bewitched sports car fun all over the world.

It was the proposal for the future generation of sports cars, with smoothness and high output. It was the milestone for the future sports car.

The debut variant of Cosmo Sport in 1967 had a 2.2m wheelbase but was modified to 2.35m in 1968.

At the same time, replace the engine 10B, its powered 128ps, which had wider radiator grille. This appearance was easily seen also with side marker, changed from round form to horizontal type.

Improving the engine performance of later model tires wheels changed also from 155HR14 to 155HR15 to enhance the handling, even differed only one year.

* * *

Mazda has become stronger because of the days of hardship and suffering. A passion for manufacturing. These simple words carry deep meaning and the Cosmo Sport can be said to be the starting point of this passion. The passionate spirit of Mazda became known to the world with the birth of this car.

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