It’s big, yellow, and shares a heart with the legendary Mazda FD RX7, yes, THAT RX7. It’s faster than a Nissan Skyline GTST. It’s cheaper than a Nissan Skyline GTST. It has more features than a Lexus LS400, and yet, after years of being legal in the US, nobody knows, or cares about it. The Cosmo came about as an effort by Mazda’s engineers to produce a luxury touring coupe that would rival such vehicles as the BMW 8 Series. Available only in Japan, the Cosmo seemed to be more of an experiment than anything else, as much of the vehicle’s design appears to be an outlet where Mazda engineers tested the latest and greatest in Japanese bubble market technology. After all, only a few thousand of these were made. In today's market, an experimental concept car would never make it into the consumer market, but the 1990's was the wild west for vehicle design in Japan, and the Cosmo stands as proof that anything is possible with enough money.
Base models came equipped with a wankel 2 rotor sequential twin turbo engine, otherwise known as the 13B. An upgraded 3 rotor 20B engine was also available from the factory, the first of its kind. With an automatic transmission being the only available option, the Cosmo was definitely intended to be more of a tourer than a raw sports coupe, however it’s mid 5 second 0-60 time proved that it could rival some of Japan’s most legendary sports cars of the time. This car did not need to have a rotary engine pushing upwards of 300 horsepower to the rear wheels, but Mazda did it anyways, because they could.
The interior of the aptly named Cosmo feels like it should belong in some sort of space craft. Plush grey cloth adorns the seats, dash, and door panels, and a myriad of connecting panels and sweeping lines make this interior futuristic and one of a kind. Some of the stylistic cues are still considered innovative and daring even by today’s standards. When’s the last time you saw a dash that swept across the entire width of the car? The Cosmo has full power seats, bolstering and lumbar included, in a Mazda. A power tilt steering wheel, in a Mazda. This was the first vehicle to offer optional in-car satellite navigation from the factory, in a car made by the same people that brought you the barebones Miata and groundbreaking MPV Minivan. If you’re looking for a unique JDM halo car for your collection, the Cosmo may be a perfect fit. Get it here soon if it’s not snatched up!