With three rotors displacing two liters, the Wankel in today’s Nice Price or No Dice Cosmo is the biggest Mazda has produced to date. Let’s see if the price tag on this privately-imported RHD coupe makes it an even bigger deal.
No One Wants To Bike To Work
When considered in terms of its formerly forbidden fruit status, most of you found yesterday’s 1991 BMW 318i Touring an over-ripe Durian. A $15,800 asking price only fanned the funk, resulting in an overwhelming 94 percent No Dice loss.
With the May 1967 introduction of the Cosmo 110S coupe, Mazda embarked on a path of becoming the world’s largest producer of automotive Wankel engines. The three-rotor, twin turbo 20B Wankel powering this 1991 Mazda “Eunos” Cosmo could be the grandest of the company’s efforts, resulting from the marque’s years of fiddling with the format. That was only one of the last-generation Cosmo’s cool, ahead-of-the-curve features, all of which served to support the model’s elevation to its sporty-fun Eunos brand stature.
Mazda concocted the Eunos brand in the late 1980s as a mid-upscale (think Buick, but Japanese) brand to slot above Mazda but below the range-topping ɛ̃fini, which is pronounced “the performer previously known as Prince.” Eunos served the Japanese domestic market until its demise in 1997 and is probably best known for having launched the home market MX-5 Miata.
This Cosmo carries the Eunos brand and a series of Rotary piston badges placed on the nose, tail, and steering wheel hub. This being a JDM-exclusive, it’s righthand drive and, owing to its size, has a little flagpole on the opposite side front corner so the driver can know where the opposite corner quits.
With just 82,000 miles (132,69 kilometers) on the clock, this Cosmo looks to be in excellent shape. The silver paint pops appreciably, and the car looks to carry all its original trim. It’s a very pretty car, too, and is only let down here by a set of overly ostentatious aftermarket alloys. Humorously, from some angles, the unfamiliar design gives off Cadillac Allanté vibes.
If you were to compare the cabin to another, more familiar car, the Lexus LS400 coupe would fall most readily to mind. The dash features a striated design with a dark section housing a fluorescent gauge cluster sandwiched between contrasting shades of soft plastics and a burl wood strip.
Seating is leather upholstered and overstuffed in a way once preferred by Italian luxury car makers. The lounge-like rear seats are even more interesting, featuring headrests that pop up from the rear shelf like one of the Teenage Ninja Mutant Turtles peering out from under a manhole cover.
Everything looks to be in equally good shape here, and while it’s a clean presentation, there’s plenty of tech here, too. The Cosmo served as Mazda’s halo car when launched, showing off every bit of forward-thinking technology the company could come up with.
According to the ad, the car’s 20B offers 300 horsepower and “near-vibration-free acceleration.” The transmission is the standard four-speed automatic that feeds the rear wheels through an independent, multilink rear end. The seller does not disclose any issue with the car’s mechanicals or with its driveability. It comes with a clean title and a trophy for “Best Import” from the 2019 Amelia Island car show.
One would assume, seeing as the trophy is four years old, that the car’s import paperwork is likely all correct, and registering the car in places that follow the Fed’s 25-year rule will not be a problem. What should something like this rare Cosmo rightfully cost?
When new, this was Mazda’s most expensive car, and as such, and being JDM-only, just a handful — 8,875 in total — were ever sold. That gives it exclusivity, while the three-rotor engine provides some mechanical bona fides. The seller thinks that adds up to a $38,000 value. Do you agree with that? Or does that price make this a Cosmo that’s hard to swallow?
Facebook Marketplace out of Houston, Texas, or go here if the ad disappears.
H/T to Gil G. for the hookup!
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