History of Craft Spirit

Great Cars of Mazda

Cars of distinction that defined an era
Cosmo (First- to third-generation models)

Mazda's first premium specialty car was named Cosmo AP after the first Mazda rotary-engine car, the Cosmo Sport. Designed with a strong American flavor, its two-door coupe styling and vertically-lined radiator grille were unconventional for a Japanese car. Highlighted by striking red body paint, the Cosmo AP immediately grabbed the spotlight when it went on sale. The Japanese fashionista and sophisticate, Keiko Usami, was hired to appear in the television commercials.


Familia Part 4 (Sixth- to ninth-generation models)

The sixth-generation Familia (Mazda 323) debuted in January 1985. It was developed to be a "global, high quality family car." This generation of Familia was given sporty and distinctive styling based around a trapezoid shape, and achieved world-class aerodynamics with its smooth ‘flush surfaces’ design. The new model was also engineered with a highly rigid body, and because this was unusual in the car industry at that time, the Familia model gained recognition around the world.


Savanna Part 2: The Savanna RX-7 (Second- to third-generation models)dels)

In October 1985, seven years after the launch of the original Savanna RX-7, the fully redesigned second generation model, the FC-series RX-7, was introduced. The development team wanted to build a sports car to surpass Porsche. They aimed for "the perfect sports car that exists within everyone's heart - a sports car for a liberated adult." It reflected the climate of the day that valued emotional satisfaction as well as material pleasures, while responding to demand from more mature drivers for comfort as well as style and performance.


Capella Part 2 (Fourth- to fifth-generation models)

The fourth-generation Capella was launched in September 1982. Breaking away from its front-engine rear-wheel drive (FR) predecessors, the fourth-generation model was released with a new front-engine front-wheel drive (FF) platform.


Familia Part 3 (Fifth-generation models)

Mazda launched the fifth-generation Familia(Mazda 323) 1300/1500 in 1980. The hatchback went on sale in June, followed by the sedan in September.


Savanna Part 1 (First-generation Savanna to Savanna RX-7)

Launched in September 1971, the Mazda Savanna was powered by the 10A rotary engine and came in two body styles: coupe and sedan. Named after the world's first steamboat and nuclear-powered ship, the Savanna conjured up a powerful image of big game roaming across the wild beauty of the African plains. In its first month alone, the Savanna sold 5,406 units.


Capella Part 1 (First- to third-generation models)

Mazda launched the first-generation Capella, in May 1970. It was available in two configurations — a two-door coupe and four-door sedan. It also had two engine options — the newly developed 12A two-rotor rotary engine and a 1,600cc reciprocating engine.


Familia Part 2 (Second- to fourth-generation models)

The Familia, which debuted as a genuine family car in 1963, underwent its first full redesign in 1967, when it was given a modern oval body shape.



Launch of the multi-purpose Bongo

On hearing the word "Bongo" many people, even those unfamiliar with Mazda, will immediately bring to mind a box-style vehicle. The Bongo — the first cab-over one-box van with the engine located under the floor, which became synonymous with the one-box car — was launched over 40 years ago.


Luce: The leading light of Mazda's innovation

Mazda, which launched its first passenger car, the R360 Coupe, on the market in 1960, introduced the Carol in 1962 and Familia (Mazda 800) in 1964, and steadily developed models from this base thereafter.



Mazda's Minibuses: From the Light Bus to the Parkway

Mazda sold its first bus in February 1960. It was a 13-seat minibus based on the D1500, Mazda's cab-over semi style compact truck, and was sold to the Japan Defence Agency.



Cosmo Sport 110S: A legendary sports car

The Mazda Cosmo Sport (sold overseas as the 110S) – the world's first volume production sports car powered by a rotary engine - was unveiled to the public at the Tokyo Motor Show in October 1963. When the president of Mazda, Tsuneji Matsuda, drove the prototype into show venue it was a surprise to everyone.


Familia Part 1: Starting life as a van

The celebrated Familia was originally designed to cater to family outings. It began life as a modern van and went on to transform the image of commercial vehicles.



Robust, agile and powerful Mazda's Four-Wheeled Trucks: From Romper to BT-50

The proportion of three-wheeled trucks that contributed to Japan's recovery after the war peaked at 72 percent of overall truck production in 1953.



Carol 360: A new kind of micro-mini

Following the huge success of the R360 Coupe, on February 23, 1962, Mazda brought out a completely new micro-mini named after a carol (a joyful song). This was the Carol 360, a car that Mazda developed alongside the prototype Mazda 700 that was unveiled at the 1961 Tokyo Motor Show.


R360 Coupe: Mazda's first passenger car

Mazda launched its first passenger car, the R360 Coupe, throughout Japan on May 28, 1960. The launch coincided with a period of improved income levels and changing lifestyles, and the beginning of the boom in demand for car ownership in Japan.


The original Mazda vehicles: Mazda-Go three-wheeled trucks

Mazda's history as an automaker began in 1931 with the unveiling of a three-wheeled truck known as the Mazda-Go Type-DA. The company was aiming for class-leading performance and maximum loading capacity, domestic production of various parts including the engine, and the setting up of a consistent volume production system. The engine was built in-house and had a transmission with a reverse gear, a rear differential and other components patented by Mazda(then Toyo Kogyo). The introduction of the Mazda-Go was a pivotal moment in the history of Japan's three-wheeled truck market.