Cosmo | Mazda Specifications and Review
Mazda had been building motorcycles and trucks since the 1930s but decided to branch out in the 1960s with a sports car. The Cosmo 11 OS was not like any other car before it: its styling was extraordinary, with slim lines and a very long rear overhang, and under the hood (bonnet) was one of the first uses of a Wankel rotary engine. This new type of powe’rplant offered smoothness and high revs with the downside of being unfamiliarand using more fuel.
After the initial launch at the Tokyo Motor Show in 1964, Mazda struggled to perfect the Cosmo for production. More than eighty prototypes and test cars were destroyed as the Hiroshima-based designers and engineers tweaked the design. By 1967, the Cosmo 11 OS finally made it to the showroom with an odd mechanical feature—two spark plugs per cylinder powered by two separate distributors.
Nevertheless, the eccentric new grand tourer was considered a. “halo” product for the new Mazda brand. To prove the reliability of its engine, two Cosmos were entered for the 1968 Marathon de la Route and one of them came in fourth overall. A total of 1,176 Cosmos were built. Most remain in their home country. Up until 1995, three further series were built, with more conventional styling although the rotary engine remained.
1967 • 59 cu in/982 cc • 110 bhp/82 kW • 0-60 mph/
97 kph in 16 seconds • 115 mph/185 kph