On May 30, Mazda announced the 50th anniversary of their first rotary engine commercial vehicle, the Cosmo Sport.
The Cosmo Sport premiered as the world’s first twin rotary engine automobile on May 30, 1967. The stylish two-seater model was also the company’s first sports car.
The car saw a limited production run, however, only every seeing 1,176 of the car ever made. Still, for Mazda the Cosmo Sport was a monumental vehicle for the auto manufacturer. Coming from a company that had up until then only made trucks and small scale vehicles, the Cosmo Sport reinvigorated the brand into an exciting one with its unique engineering sensibilities and design.
In order to get a rotary engine onto a commercially-available automobile, Mazda engineers had to overcome a number of hurdles, testing the car over hundreds of thousands of kilometers of road tests. While dozens of large auto manufacturers signed deals with the German NSU to license their rotary engines, the only maker that managed to get one onto a vehicle was Mazda in the end.
Mazda representatives commented that “The Cosmo Sport created a revolutionary cornerstone for our brand. Our spirit of taking on challenges such as those of the rotary engine can be seen nowadays in our Skyactiv technology.”
Written by Minoru Moriwaki
(Translated by Bryce Clarke)