Driving the Mazda Cosmo Sport – Motor Trend

30 Mar 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Driving the Mazda Cosmo Sport – Motor Trend
Mazda Cosmo

Legendary Rotary-Powered Coupe at the Heart-Strings, 40 Years On

When the Cosmo Sport broke in Japan in May 1967, its combination of good looks and the world’s production rotary engine it in a segment all its own, lending it cult status. The coupe a decade ahead of its time. It appeared as a state-of-the-art patrol car in the 1971 Japanese TV series The of Ultraman.

As the show’s protagonist down deserted Tokyo passing boxy, nondescript sedans, his Cosmo Sport like a road-going spaceship to blast off. Fast-forward to On Hakone’s mountain roads in the of Mt. Fuji, 90 minutes southwest of we’re piloting a Cosmo Series II.

It’s the same model driven by Ultraman. on this car is original, or as close to the spec as possible. Proud Akio Hagiri, who kindly me a drive, would have it no way. Three things to

Still reeling from the awe of one of the rare 500 or so Cosmos still on the I find it hard to believe how spectacularly this two-door and sounds. Where the Series I, for a year until the middle of employed the 110-horsepower L10A engine and four-speed manual the follow-up Series II L10B generated a beefier 128 horsepower a five-speed transmission. As Hagiri there are three things the Cosmo rotary you have to Sure, it handles well, but you to get used to the revs, the brakes, and the

Indeed, like the present-day rotary fitted to the RX-8, the rotary loves to be revved. As I a corner in second and slow to stop at some lights, the nearly stalls. Extending my foot, I tickle the engine to life as I flick the short knob into first.

At 3000 rpm, I take off but delay the switch to second for one only: that exhaust If there’s one thing those got right 45 years ago, the exhaust sound. It’s brilliant, especially between and 6500 rpm.

Raspy, deep, and addictive. As for the you have to lean into the with purpose after learned how to take up the sizeable of play on center, because the has no power-assisted steering. Once my memorized the extra weight on the narrow sports wheel, became less of a chore and fun with each corner.

this car is far easier than imagine, simply because the got the suspension package right. The feels planted and displays no sign of body roll and no Surprisingly, the brakes are a weak Even though they discs up front, they plenty of pedal pressure, and early on, to wipe off speed.

But again, I get used to the slightly pedal feel and adjust my style. With high-geared and that rev-happy rotary away, the Cosmo teases me to it harder into each bend. I can see why Hagiri bought car 29 years ago and why he says he will let it go.

It has a special kind of magic a soul, if you will — you just don’t find on sports cars today. The in seals, or pencils?

Mazda Cosmo

By 1964, a prototype was complete and ready for application. But Mazda needed sensational to house its all-new technology. It had to have a show

That came in the form of the Sport, a one-off design in-house to highlight the uniqueness and of the company’s all-new, world-first rotary engine. When made this one, broke the mold. In contrast to the I’s quarter-mile sprint of 16.4 seconds and a top speed of 115 the Series II, with its extra 18 managed 15.8 seconds and 120 mph

Those figures made the one of the quickest coupes of its kind at the RX-7 put rotary on map

But while the Sport will live in the of automotive history as a true its small production numbers, price and right-hand-drive setup that sales stayed Over its five years of from 1967 to 1972, 1519 units were which translates to roughly one car per day. But that’s just the of Mazda’s rotary story.

as we know today, the rotary is as much an integral strain of DNA as great handling and snappy After the Cosmo Sport, the Rotary Coupe debuted in before the Luce Rotary of 1969. Following those came the 1970 Capella the Savanna Rotary in 1971, the AP in 1973, the 1975 RX-5 and the before the gorgeous RX-7 hit markets in 1978 — putting the Mazda rotary on the

In 1981, a new Cosmo and Luce were launched, followed by a new in 1985 leading up to the world-first Eunos Cosmo. The highlight of history came in 1991 the four-rotor rotary-powered Mazda race car triumphed at the Le Mans race, becoming the first car to win the famed event. Another was unveiled in 1991, and the radical RX-8 of 2003 garnered attention for its combination of rotary and … doors.

Since Mazda has been experimenting dual-fuel versions of the rotary powered by gas and hydrogen, and has even testing in countries like But back in 1967, it all started the Cosmo Sport. Apart the coupe’s great ride and the original Cosmo raises inside the cabin as well, to its push-button power radio Clarion speakers, power dashboard-mounted map-reading lights, footwell and dash-mounted braces, and its vanity mirror — all as standard equipment some years ago. Permeating pore

Even though I spent a hour behind the wheel, I tell everything about car screams passion. Its luscious eye-opening interior, rewarding great ride quality, engine (when revved), exhaust note, and the smell of trim permeated every tugged at my heartstrings and got inside my I couldn’t just get out and walk

I needed to distance myself the Cosmo in stages, periodically back to take in the incredible and lines and reminisce about one of the rewarding driving experiences ever have. The spirit of Cosmo survives today in the And given that Mazda to so much trouble for so many to make the rotary a commercial we can expect to see new, cleaner, economical versions of the rotary in the future.

Hang on, I think just steal one more

Mazda Cosmo
Mazda Cosmo
Mazda Cosmo
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