Cohort Outtake: Eunos Cosmo (Mazda) – The Only Triple-Rotor Rotary Engine Production Car

Eunos Cosmo rq

(first posted 7/16/2013)    robotr10t has uploaded a raft of his sightings in Europe at the Cohort, and one of the more unusual ones is this Eunos Cosmo. Sold only through Mazda’s Japanese premium channel Eunos, the 1990-1995 Cosmo was the final iteration of the Cosmo line of rotary sports coupes that goes back to the original Cosmo coupe of 1967, the world’s first two-rotor rotary-engine car. So it’s only fitting that the Cosmo line ended with the world’s only production triple-rotor automobile.

CC Paris 006 700

This gives me a chance to trot out a shot of the original Cosmo I shot at the Paris Auto Show a couple of years ago.  It was a remarkable achievement by Mazda, and with its 110 hp 982cc twin-rotor, the very petite Cosmo could hit 115 mph. At the time, it (and the Toyota 2000 GT) really made it clear that Japan was breaking out of the mold of modest and conservative mini-me cars.

Eunos Cosmo f

The Eunos Cosmo, which manages to evoke some GM cars of the era like the Buick Reatta, came in both two-rotor and triple-rotor versions, with the latter making up about 40% of the 8,875 total production total. The Eunos was a Japanese market-only car, although it might have made it to the US of Mazda’s ambitious Amati premium brand had actually been undertaken.

With twin turbo-chargers, the 20B-REW triple rotor engine made 300 hp, and propelled the Cosmo up to almost 160 mph (255 kmh) if the JDM-required 180kmh speed limiter was disengaged.