Vintage R&T Review: 1976 Mazda Cosmo – The Rotary’s Last Shot, Outside of Sports Cars – And a Cosmo Ad Insert

(first posted 5/26/2018)      The Cosmo was Mazda’s last shot at making (or holding on to) some inroads in the passenger car market. The RX 2 had made such a splash, with its V8-like performance in a compact Japanese car. But the energy crisis put a serious crimp into Mazda’s high hopes, given the intrinsic thirst of the Wankel engine.

The fallback was a more upscale sporty coupe, with decided American design overtones. A Colonnade Mazda, actually, which was not very well received. Mazda was struggling, and would soon ditch the rotary except for the sports car RX-7.