Daniel Susco
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1967 Mazda Cosmo Overview

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It’s 2017, and it’s time to pop the cork, pour the champagne, and toast to the 50th anniversary of the engine that made Mazda by remembering the very first vehicle to feature a successful Wankel rotary engine: the 1967 Mazda Cosmo.


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1967 Mazda Cosmo

What’s New for the 1967 Mazda Cosmo?

For 1967, the Mazda Cosmo (or 110S, when it eventually made it to the states) was all new, man, with the debut of the world’s first engine to be successfully propelled by spinning triangles: the future-famous Wankel engine. What other automakers had merely dabbled in, Mazda had made a reality in a sleek and sporty two-seater propelled by spinning triangles.

1967 Mazda Cosmo Photos:

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1967 Mazda Cosmo

1967 Mazda Cosmo Exterior

The 1967 Cosmo featured the small, sporty look that was typical of Japanese cars at the time, and featured such styling as skirted rear wheel wells, front-quarter-panel-mounted side mirrors, divided taillights, and large, circular inset headlights that gave the Cosmo a distinct look. Notice that, due to the comparatively small size of the rotary engine, the front of the Cosmo seems rather thin.

1967 Mazda Cosmo Photos:

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1967 Mazda Cosmo rotary engine

1967 Mazda Cosmo Performance

The 1967 Mazda Cosmo was powered by a dual-rotor 982-cc Wankel engine, producing 110 hp at its redline of 7,000 rpm and 96 lb-ft of torque at the comparatively low 3,500 rpm. The rotary engine featured a smooth performance and, when coupled with a four-speed manual transmission, gave the little sportster a 0-60 time of 8.8 seconds.

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1967 Mazda Cosmo

1967 Mazda Cosmo Efficiency

Automobile-catalog.com estimates that the Cosmo got about 16.6 mpg. For reference, that’s a little bit better than a Dodge Viper today.

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1967 Mazda Cosmo

1967 Mazda Cosmo Interior

The inside of the 1967 Mazda Cosmo is a highly-modern study in black. The seats were black with a black-and-white houndstooth-pattern cloth inlay, and the entirety of the dashboard is picked out in black and silver. In fact, the only parts of the interior which are not black, white, or in-between are the few needles and lights on the dashboard, the shift knob (appearing to be some sort of amber-colored wood), the steering wheel (also appearing to be a lighter-colored wood), and the red Mazda logo on the center of the wheel.

1967 Mazda Cosmo Interior Photos:

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1967 Mazda Cosmo

1967 Mazda Cosmo Safety

Erm. Uh. Don’t crash.

The 1967 Cosmo included lap-band seat belts for cars, but this was far before widespread use of things like crumple zones, and that all-metal steering wheel certainly doesn’t look like it has an airbag in it. So, if you were to get in a crash, you would be going face-first into the wheel, and the rigid sheet-metal body, like almost all cars at the time, would have made sure that your high-speed kiss to the steering wheel was likely a kiss of death.

As for brakes, the Cosmo did have disc brakes—but only for the front wheels. The rear wheels, which drove the Cosmo, had drum brakes.

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News Sources: Motor TrendAutomobile-catalog.com

  • Daniel SuscoEditor

    Daniel Susco is a native of the Dayton-Cincinnati area, and has written on a multitude of subjects. He can discuss Shakespeare, expound on Classical Mythology, and even make witty jokes about Pliny the Elder (More like “Pliny the Rounder,” right?). In his free time, Daniel enjoys reading, cooking, woodworking, and long walks on the beach (just kidding – sunburn is no joke). See more articles by Daniel.