You can get this pioneering halo car by completing the “Mazda’s Guide to the Galaxy” seasonal championship in Autumn.
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In the mid-1960s, countries like the US, the UK, the Soviet Union, and their allies were embroiled in the space race, each pouring resources into developing new technologies that would give them the advantage in reaching the stars.
This was the environment at the time when a Japanese car manufacturer decided to make a name for themselves with a new technology of their own. So Mazda set their sights on the Wankel rotary engine, and dedicated themselves to building a car worthy of it.
The first Cosmo released in 1967 as a “halo car”: a type of car that a manufacturer creates to pioneer new technologies for use in future car development, even if the halo itself is never meant to be commercially viable. And it worked! The Cosmo was never a huge seller, as each one had to be hand-built, but the rotary became a mainstay of Mazda manufacturing, appearing in numerous cars in the decades since its first appearance here. The Cosmo’s rotary engine put out more power with less displacement and had fewer moving parts. This meant a smooth ride and a long-lasting engine in a compact body.
The car itself was designed specifically around the rotary engine. Mazda was inspired by the space race, but also by recent offerings like the Thunderbird and the Jaguar E-type, which informed the Cosmo’s styling. They had a vested interested in demonstrating the value and reliability of the rotary technology, which is why they entered Series 1 Cosmo into the 84 Hour Marathon de la Route at the Nürburgring; it came in fourth.
The final model of the Cosmo was released in 1972.