MAZDA PRODUCTION VEHICLES
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.