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MAZDA 110S / COSMO SPORT Pro­duc­tion pe­riod: 1967–1972 It was 1967 when Mazda launched its first ro­tary-pow­ered pro­duc­tion car and, sub­se­quently, the world’s first car fit­ted with an en­gine of twin-ro­tor de­sign. The 110S, or Cosmo Sport, was a fu­tur­is­ti­cally styled two-door coupé that wowed the pub­lic with its good looks and su­per-smooth 10A ro­tary en­gine. The fol­low­ing year, an im­proved ver­sion went on sale equipped with a 10B en­gine that de­vel­oped 94kw, and gave the Cosmo a 0– 400m stand­ing-quar­ter-mile time of just 15.8 sec­onds, and a top speed of 200kph. MAZDA R100 / FAMILIA RO­TARY Pro­duc­tion pe­riod: 1968–1973 The pro­duc­tion R100 was based on Mazda’s RX-85 pro­to­type that had been shown in 1967 at the Tokyo Mo­tor Show. All mod­els were sold with the same twin-ro­tor 10A en­gine as fit­ted to the Cosmo Sport, but slightly de­tuned to pro­duce 74kw at 7000rpm. Weigh­ing in at only 805kg, the R100 had a favourable power-to-weight ra­tio that en­abled a top speed of around 180kph. In 1969, the two-door coupé was joined by a sedan ver­sion — the Familia Ro­tary SS. MAZDA R130 / LUCE RO­TARY Pro­duc­tion pe­riod: 1969–1972 The R130 coupé was Mazda’s only pro­duc­tion front-wheel-drive ve­hi­cle fit­ted with a ro­tary en­gine, and it was sold on the Ja­panese do­mes­tic mar­ket. It was also the only Mazda fit­ted with a very rare 13A en­gine. Based on Mazda’s RX-87 pro­to­type, the R130 fea­tured the Ital­ian-in­spired lines in vogue at the time, mak­ing it an at­trac­tive-look­ing ma­chine with per­for­mance to match. The twin-ro­tor 13A pro­duced 93kw at 6000rpm in the R130, was driven through a four-speed trans­mis­sion, and was ca­pa­ble of a 190kph top speed. MAZDA RX-2 / CAPELLA RO­TARY Pro­duc­tion pe­riod: 1970–1978 The pop­u­lar RX-2 first went on sale in Ja­pan in mid 1970 in both two-door coupé and four-door sedan guises. Fit­ted with Mazda’s all-new big­ger dis­place­ment 12A twin-ro­tor en­gine that pro­vided 88kw at 6500rpm, the RX-2S man­aged 190kph through their four-speed gear­boxes, and an even higher top speed in the five speed–equipped GSII mod­els that went on sale in 1972. The RX-2 was also avail­able in a spe­cial G-model that fea­tured the world’s first-ever ro­tary fit­ted with an au­to­matic gear­box. MAZDA RX-3 / SA­VANNA Pro­duc­tion pe­riod: 1971–1978 The RX-3 has al­ways been one of the Mazda ro­tary en­thu­si­asts’ favourite mod­els — the coupé and sedan lines were some of the best of the day. The RX-3 was first in­tro­duced with the smaller 10A en­gine and four-speed gear­box in 1971 and was soon

joined by an au­to­matic-equipped ver­sion and the Sport Wagon — the world’s first ro­tary en­gine–equipped sta­tion wagon. The RX-3 also ap­peared in GT ver­sion and came fit­ted with the big­ger 12A and five-speed gear­box, as found in the higher-spec GSII RX-2S. MAZDA RX-4 / LUCE RO­TARY Pro­duc­tion pe­riod: 1972–1977 In late 1972, the RX-4 sec­ond-gen­er­a­tion ro­tary-pow­ered Mazda Luce ve­hi­cle ar­rived, but this time in rear-wheel-drive form and pow­ered by the big­ger 12A en­gines that had be­come stan­dard Mazda ro­tary fare. The heav­ier RX-4 was mar­keted as a lux­ury / sport-type ve­hi­cle and, sub­se­quently, was pro­duced in three ba­sic body styles — the hard­top, the sedan, and the cus­tom. The RX-4 also ap­peared in smaller num­bers in Luce Wagon and Grand Turismo forms — the lat­ter fea­tur­ing Us-style wood­grain pan­els on the sides of the car. MAZDA RO­TARY PICKUP Pro­duc­tion pe­riod: 1973–1977 The Mazda Ro­tary Pickup (or ‘REPU’ — Ro­tary En­gine Pickup, as they were more com­monly re­ferred to) was a Us-only spe­cial, pro­duced and mar­keted by Mazda from 1973 when pickup trucks were ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a pop­u­lar­ity boom in North Amer­ica. The REPU used a 13B en­gine driven through ei­ther a four-speed man­ual or three-speed au­to­matic gear­box, and came com­plete with such fea­tures as hand-sprayed enamel paint, a tachome­ter, and vinyl up­hol­stery. MAZDA PARKWAY RO­TARY 26 Pro­duc­tion pe­riod: 1974–1976 Be­lieve it or not, Mazda’s ro­tary en­gine even found its way into a bus in fac­tory form — the Parkway Ro­tary 26. The bus came onto the mar­ket in 1974 and was pow­ered by Mazda’s new 13B en­gine, which de­vel­oped 99kw at 6500rpm. Weigh­ing in at al­most three tonnes, the Parkway of­fered a cruis­ing speed of 120kph and was avail­able in two mod­els — the Deluxe 26-seat ver­sion and Su­per Deluxe 13-seat ver­sion, both driven through four­speed trans­mis­sions. MAZDA ROADPACER AP Pro­duc­tion pe­riod: 1975–1976 In 1975, the Mazda Roadpacer AP ap­peared on the Ja­panese do­mes­tic mar­ket, com­plete with a 13B ro­tary en­gine and three-speed au­to­matic gear­box. To those with an un­trained eye, the Roadpacer bore an un­canny re­sem­blance to the Holden Premier of the day, this sim­i­lar­ity due to the project be­ing a joint one be­tween Mazda and GM Holden in an ef­fort to re­duce de­sign and man­u­fac­ture costs through shorter de­vel­op­ment time­frames. Only 800 Roadpacer APS (which were mar­keted as chauf­feur-driven ex­ec­u­tive ve­hi­cles) were ever pro­duced, mak­ing it one of the rarest pro­duc­tion ro­tary-pow­ered Maz­das on the road. MAZDA RX-5 / COSMO AP Pro­duc­tion pe­riod: 1975–1981 The RX-5, or Cosmo AP, was launched in 1975 and named af­ter the very first ro­tary-pow­ered Mazda pro­duc­tion car — the 110S Cosmo Sport. The RX-5 was sold in no fewer than 10 vari­ants, and came with a choice of a 12A or 13B twin-ro­tor en­gine and five-speed man­ual or three-speed au­to­matic trans­mis­sion. The Cosmo L, Lan­dau-top (soft-top) ver­sion that ap­peared in 1977 was a Ja­panese first, but it was the world­wide ex­po­sure through the mo­tion pic­ture Red Cosmo that gave the car in­stant no­to­ri­ety and sparked a big in­ter­est in the Ja­panese per­for­mance-car mar­ket from over­seas coun­tries.

MAZDA 929L / LUCE LEGATO Pro­duc­tion pe­riod: 1977–1981 In 1977, the 929 Limited (L) / Luce Legato ap­peared on the mar­ket as the high­est-spec Luce in Mazda’s new car line-up. The car, com­plete with 13B or 12A en­gine, was built in two body styles — a four-door pil­lared hard­top and a four-door sedan — but was avail­able in seven dif­fer­ent ver­sions be­tween the two, and in no fewer than 20 dif­fer­ent spec­i­fi­ca­tions. Mazda of­fered the car in this many specs to try to meet the mar­ket at a va­ri­ety of points and prices. Its most lux­u­ri­ous guise was the 13B-pow­ered Luce Limited. MAZDA RX-7 / SA­VANNA RX-7 Pro­duc­tion pe­riod: 1978–1985 With the in­tro­duc­tion of the first RX-7 in 1978, Mazda struck the right chord with the pub­lic in both Ja­pan and the US, where the car proved ex­tremely pop­u­lar. With an im­proved 95kw 12A en­gine po­si­tioned well back in the en­gine bay, its front mid-ship con­fig­u­ra­tion blessed the RX-7 with su­perb han­dling in fac­tory form, while its pop-up head­lights (new stuff in the late ’70s) im­proved aero­dy­nam­ics and brought the RX-7’S sports car looks to­gether. The first­gen­er­a­tion RX-7 re­ceived facelifts through­out its pro­duc­tion, and the sec­ond- and third-se­ries cars could be found with six-port in­jec­tion 12A en­gines and, in tur­bocharged form, pro­duced 121kw. MAZDA COSMO Pro­duc­tion pe­riod: 1981–1990 In late 1981, the third-gen­er­a­tion Cosmo de­buted, mar­keted at the higher end of the pas­sen­ger-/per­for­mance-car mar­ket. At first, all mod­els (two-door and four-door hard­tops and sedans) were fit­ted with the 12A six-port in­jec­tion en­gines as seen in the nat­u­rally as­pi­rated RX-7S, but 13Bs with elec­tron­i­cally con­trolled su­per-in­jec­tion and a 12A with Mazda Im­pact-turbo was soon added to the Cosmo’s spec­i­fi­ca­tion. This tur­bocharger set-up was the world’s first ro­tary-turbo sys­tem in a pro­duc­tion car and paved the way for fu­ture ro­tary-turbo en­gine de­signs. Cosmos also fea­tured elec­tron­i­cally con­trolled four-wheel in­de­pen­dent sus­pen­sion. MAZDA 929 / LUCE Pro­duc­tion pe­riod: 1981–1986 The 1981 Luce was the third of the model range equipped with a ro­tary en­gine, al­though a 2000cc four-cylin­der unit was also of­fered. Hit­ting the mar­ket at the same time as the third-gen­er­a­tion Cosmo, the 12A-pow­ered Luce of­fered the same four-wheel in­de­pen­dent sus­pen­sion and was avail­able in both four-door sedan and hard­top ver­sions. In the later years of its pro­duc­tion, the car un­der­went sig­nif­i­cant facelifts, and the new top-end mod­els (lux­ury cars, by all ac­counts) were specced with ei­ther

the 12A turbo en­gine from the RX-7 or a 13B with Dy­namic Su­per­charger. MAZDA RX-7 / SA­VANNA RX-7 Pro­duc­tion pe­riod: 1985–1992 In 1985, the sec­ond-gen­er­a­tion RX-7 (widely known as the ‘Se­ries IV’) went into pro­duc­tion, fit­ted with the Mazda’s all-new 13B twin-scroll turbo en­gine pro­duc­ing a healthy 136kw at 6500rpm. With just a hint of Porsche 924/944 in its look, the new RX-7 of­fered su­perb per­for­mance for the day and han­dled ex­cep­tion­ally well, thanks to a new multi-link rear-sus­pen­sion set-up. A cou­ple of years af­ter its de­but, a con­vert­ible cabri­o­let ver­sion was re­leased, fol­lowed by the facelift (Se­ries V) cars in 1989 that picked up a 151kw en­gine and many re­fine­ments over the Se­ries IV. MAZDA LUCE Pro­duc­tion pe­riod: 1986–1991 The 1986 year saw the launch of the fifth­gen­er­a­tion of ro­tary-pow­ered Luce Maz­das, a lux­ury four-door sa­loon. Aimed squarely at the up­per end of the mar­ket, the high-per­for­mance tourer fea­tured the sec­ond-gen­er­a­tion RX-7’S 13B tur­bocharged en­gine slightly de­tuned but still pro­duc­ing 132kw. The Luce was avail­able in au­to­matic form only but used an all-new four-speed con­fig­u­ra­tion for smooth and quick ac­cel­er­a­tion. Mazda also paid spe­cial at­ten­tion to the sus­pen­sion set-up, which of­fered a good com­pro­mise be­tween per­for­mance and com­fort with a strut front and Mazda’s unique E-link (multi-link) set-up in the rear. MAZDA EUNOS COSMO Pro­duc­tion pe­riod: 1990–1995 The Eunos Cosmo’s ar­rival in 1990 spelled new things for Mazda, as the high­est-spec car came equipped, for the first time, with a three-ro­tor en­gine, the 20B-REW. Com­bined with a se­quen­tial twin-turbo set-up, this unit was good for the Ja­panese do­mes­tic mar­ket max­i­mum per­mit­ted out­put of 206kw, which ar­rived at 6500rpm, and was driven through a four-speed au­to­matic trans­mis­sion. Weigh­ing in at over 1600kg, the Eunos Cosmo was by all mea­sures a big coupé, de­signed specif­i­cally as a two-plus-two seater. De­pend­ing on spec, the cars were, at their best, fit­ted with leather and wood trim, mak­ing them a true lux­ury sports tourer. MAZDA RX-7 Pro­duc­tion pe­riod: 1991–2002 In 1991, the RX-7 re­turned in its third it­er­a­tion, with su­perbly crafted lines that mim­icked ‘wa­ter over a rock’, and a pow­er­ful 13B twin-turbo power plant that pro­duced a healthy 188kw at 6500rpm. This RX-7 (dubbed ‘Se­ries VI’) was a true sports car, cou­pling the smooth-revving turbo twin-ro­tary en­gine with dou­ble-wish­bone sus­pen­sion fea­tured on all four cor­ners, which could only en­hance the RX-7’S his­tory of high­per­for­mance han­dling. Facelift mod­els came in both 1996 and 1998, with en­gine-power out­put lifted to 206kw in the fi­nal mod­els. MAZDA RX-8 Pro­duc­tion pe­riod: 2003–2012 First shown as the Rx-evolv at the 2000 Tokyo Mo­tor Show, the all-new RX-8 fea­tured the very lat­est in Mazda petrol ro­tary-en­gine tech­nol­ogy — the nat­u­rally as­pi­rated Re­n­e­sis. The 13B twin-ro­tor Re­n­e­sis en­gine (which used a side port con­fig­u­ra­tion on the in­take and the ex­haust) was able to pro­duce the same power as the pre­vi­ous tur­bocharged 13B-equipped RX-7S. It com­bined a fu­tur­is­tic four-door (the two rear ones are called ‘freestyle’ doors) body with a choice of six-speed man­ual or sport-shifted au­to­matic trans­mis­sion.

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