Mazda marks centennial with special-edition series
Mazda started out life as a cork manufacturer back in 1920 and within a decade was producing a rickshaw of sorts based on a motorcycle platform.
The first car from Mazda didn’t arrive until 1960. The car was the R360 coupe, whose combination of burgundy and white applied to high-grade models has inspired a collection of modern Mazdas marking the brand’s centennial.
Known as the Mazda 100th Anniversary Special Edition collection, it includes every model in the brand’s modern lineup—each of which is finished in the same combination of a white exterior and burgundy interior. Each car in the collection also features special badging, and in the case of the MX-5 Miata there’s a burgundy roof, too.
The R360 that marked Mazda’s transition to car manufacturing back in 1960 was a kei car that weighed less than 850 pounds and featured a rear-mounted engine, specifically an air-cooled V-twin originally designed for a motorcycle. However, it wasn’t long until Mazda signed a licensing deal with NSU of Germany for the Felix Wankel rotary engine, and then further refined the design before installing it in the Cosmo 110S sports car in 1967. The automaker then launched numerous other models, including many more featuring rotary engines.
The Mazda 100th Anniversary Special Edition collection is currently on sale in Japan and available there through March 2021. Its availability in the United States is yet to be announced.