Here’s where we get into the “classic” stuff, including some Japanese-market models not originally available here. Take for instance this 1993 Eunos Cosmo.

1993 Eunos Cosmo

First off, what is a Eunos? By the end of the 1980s, in Japan, Mazda had three new sub-brands. Autozam offered entry-level, mostly small vehicles; Mazda, retained its mainstream status; ɛ̃fini sold luxury and non-traditional vehicles, including the RX-7 and MPV; and Eunos sold upscale sporty models.

1993 Eunos Cosmo

One of the models that fell under the Eunos brand was the Cosmo which had been a Mazda, since its introduction in 1967. The first generation Cosmo ran through 1972, by which time it is estimated six had been imported to the U.S. Three are known to exist, one recently auctioned for $110,000. Another, Mazda acquired. The partially-visible white car toward the center of the picture, was it. And I missed it.

1993 Eunos Cosmo

So, how could I miss it… or the immaculate 929 on its other side? Easy, I remember being smitten with the few magazine pictures I found of the Cosmo in the early 1990s. Thus, I was drawn to it like a moth to a flame. See, not only was it considered a halo model but it was to be part of Mazda’s stillborn U.S. Amati luxury brand. That lineup was to include a 12-cylinder flagship sedan, an entry sedan (which became the Millenia), and this Cosmo. What an opening line-up that would have been!

1993 Eunos Cosmo

This is a fourth generation Cosmo and it has presence. Sort of like a cross between a Nissan 240SX and Lexus SC from the same period. It’s a couple of inches shorter than the SC but its wheelbase is a couple inches longer. Best of all, it’s rear-wheel-drive.

1993 Eunos Cosmo

Possibly more interesting were its powerplant choices. We may associate Mazda’s rotary engine with the RX-7 but it was the RX-5 (a.k.a. Cosmo) that incorporated their first Wankel engine; including in the second-generation Cosmo which was sold in the U.S. from 1976 to 1978 (then the RX-7 took over rotary sports car duty). Engine choices for the 1993 Cosmo were limited to two, both rotary: a version of their common 13B, in twin-turbo form, which produced 235 hp; or the larger 20B, which had two turbos, three rotors, was exclusive to this generation Cosmo and produced 300 hp.

1993 Eunos Cosmo

Inside, it looked pretty much how I expected. By the early 1990s, most Japanese brands had nailed interior ergonomics and finish. Granted this car wasn’t cheap, costing between $27,000 and $44,000 new—today that would be nearly $75,000.

1993 Eunos Cosmo

That hood in the center stack shades the area where the industry’s first (according to Mazda) GPS navigation system was optionally available. That touchscreen CRT also incorporated audio and climate controls. All models had electronic gauges but some featured the word “Cosmo” that would light and scroll across the entire wraparound dash! Mazda said only 8,853 of this generation was produced, between 1990 and 1995. In a way, being the only one on U.S. soil, it is more rare than the first-generation model next to it. Both are stored in an underground garage at Mazda’s California R&D facility.


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