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 fall back 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.