CC For Sale: 1991 Eunos Cosmo – Mazda’s Grandest Luxury Car Could Be Yours

Those of you in the Seattle area with $11,000 to burn may be wise to check out this listing because, after all, when are you going to see another Eunos Cosmo for sale? This flagship Mazda personal luxury coupe is one of the most exclusive and alluring Mazdas ever made, from its sumptuous, high-tech interior to the twin-turbocharged rotary engine under the hood.

Being over 25 years old, this Cosmo was eligible for import to the US and is registered and insured. It’s a rather left-field choice for a Japanese import, so much so that I’ve still yet to see one here in Australia even as we are teeming with Skylines and Silvias imported from Japan. I know what I’d rather have, though.

The Cosmo was designed for the richest Japanese, buyers who might have ordinarily gravitated towards a Toyota Soarer. It was one of the first cars under the Eunos nameplate, part of Mazda’s confusing marque expansion in the late 1980s along with the lower-end Autozam and high-end ɛ̃fini marques. The Cosmo name, however, had first appeared in 1967 and had always denoted Mazda’s most expensive model, always offered at least with the option of a rotary engine.

True to its luxury positioning, the Cosmo came fully-loaded with all the latest in creature comforts. This included a world first, the Cosmo being the first production car to feature a GPS navigation system. There was also an optional touchscreen display in the dash which housed the navigation, radio and climate controls, while a TV transmitter was also available. Talk about luxury!

While Buick may have also been offering touchscreens in its contemporary Riviera, the Cosmo’s luxurious interior left the Buick for dead, from its sleek, wraparound styling to its classy electroluminescent gauges and French elm trim. Being wider than its predecessor, the Cosmo ran afoul of Japanese vehicle taxation regulations, yet another indicator that Mazda was targeting the wealthiest of buyers.

The Cosmo was available with two twin-turbocharged rotary engines: the two-rotor 13B-RE with 230 hp and 217 ft-lbs and the three-rotor 20B-REW rated at 280 hp (wink, wink – it was probably more like 300 hp) and 297 ft-lbs. The latter was the first and thus far three-rotor engine in a production car. With the 20B engine, the Cosmo could hit 60 mph in around 6 seconds.

That’s not to say the Cosmo was some barebones racer. No, this was a plush, grand touring 2+2, weighing 3500 pounds and sending all that power to the rear wheels via a four-speed automatic transmission – no manual was available. Suspension was double wishbones up front and a multi-link set-up at the rear and the Cosmo rode and handled commendably, although it was tuned for comfort and had some body roll in the corners. Dimensionally, the Cosmo was 2 inches longer than a BMW 8-Series but 2 inches narrower. Unlike past generations of Cosmo, the Eunos Cosmo wasn’t based on the same platform as the large Luce sedan and instead used its own, exclusive platform.

This Cosmo is one of 8,875 produced between 1990 and 1996 and one of very, very few in North America. There was no North American launch – these were tipped to be the aborted Amati brand’s flagship – and there would be no replacement for these as Mazda suffered from the effects of the Japanese bubble economy. At least the Cosmo name went out with a bang, on this exquisite masterpiece of a flagship.

While this Cosmo has the two-rotor 13B under the hood (which accounted for around 60% of sales), it’d still make a marvellous addition to your garage. Besides, beggars can’t be choosers – how often are Eunos Cosmos on Craigslist?

Would you buy this piece of automotive history?