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Mazda's Rotary 'Muscle Car' - JC Cosmo

Introduction / Photos / Specifications / Sales Brochure / My Cosmo test drive / More Information


Introduction

The Cosmo was a high specification, high performance luxury coupe on par with Lexus, as you will see from the photos. The 'JC' Cosmo was a model sold in Japan only, from March 1990 until January 1996 - the 13B model was sold after 1991. In 1993 there was a minor model update, with mainly cosmetic changes, but the actual model names were changed.

All Cosmos were 4 speed automatics. There were two engine specifications (13B twin turbo 2 rotor engine/20B twin turbo 3 rotor engine) and three levels of trim specification (S=Sport, E=Luxury, ECCS='car control system' - high level luxury). Obviously a 20B "Sport" would be the fastest, with a 20B ECCS being the cruiser.

Photos

Here are some photos of the JC Cosmo.

Cosmo type JCESE (640x480,1024,768)
Cosmo type JCES
(640x480)(1024x768)
early cosmo20 engine bay  (640x480)
'Early' Cosmo 20B engine
bay (640x480)
David Morris' JC cosmo (385x240)
David Morris' JC Cosmo
(385x240)
Lance's JC cosmo
Lance's JCES type ECCS
Cosmo 1991 (301x203)

Lances Cosmo
(886x585)

Powersliding 20B Cosmo
(320x133)

Specifications

JC Cosmo specifications
(NOTE: JC3S is model code for 13B cosmos, JCES is model code for 20B cosmos)
JC3S Type S JC3S Type E JCES Type S JCES Type E JCES Type ECCS
Motor 13B-REW Turbo 13B-REW Turbo 20B-REW Turbo 20B-REW Turbo 20B-REW Turbo
Trim level "Sport" "Luxury" "Sport" "Luxury" "High luxury"
Car Control
System
No No No No Yes
Power 230ps@6500 230ps@6500 280ps@6500 280ps@6500 280ps@6500
Torque 30.0kgm@3500 30.0kgm@3500 41.0kgm@3000 41.0kgm@3000 41.0kgm@3000
Capacity 654cc x 2 rotor 654cc x 2 rotor 654cc x 3 rotor 654cc x 3 rotor 654cc x 3 rotor
Compression 9.0:1 9.0:1 9.0:1 9.0:1 9.0:1
Weight 1490 kg 1510 kg 1590 kg 1610 kg 1640 kg
Gearbox &
ratio (1st)
ratio (2nd)
ratio (3rd)
ratio (4th)
ratio (R)
Final drive
4sp Auto
3.027
1.619
1.0
0.694
2.272
4.3:1
4sp Auto
3.027
1.619
1.0
0.694
2.272
4.3:1
4sp Auto
2.784
1.544
1.0
0.694
2.275
3.909:1
4sp Auto
2.784
1.544
1.0
0.694
2.275
3.909:1
4sp Auto
2.784
1.544
1.0
0.694
2.275
3.909:1
LSD Optional Optional Yes (Viscous type) Yes (Viscous type) Yes (Viscous type)
Wheels &
Tyres
16 x 7 JJ
6 spoke alloy
225/50 R16 92v
(Potenza RE71)
15 x 7 JJ
36 spoke alloy
215/60 R15 90H
16 x 7 JJ
6 spoke alloy
225/50 R16 92v
(Potenza RE71)
15 x 7 JJ
36 spoke alloy
215/60 R15 90H
15 x 7 JJ
36 spoke alloy
215/60 R15 90H
Suspension
Front
Double wishbone
and coil spring.
Double wishbone
and coil spring.
Double wishbone
and coil spring.
Double wishbone
and coil spring.
Double wishbone
and coil spring.
Suspension
Rear
Independent.
Multilink twin
damper and coil sp.
Independent.
Multilink twin
damper and coil sp.
Independent.
Multilink twin
damper and coil sp.
Independent.
Multilink twin
damper and coil sp.
Independent.
Multilink twin
damper and coil sp.
Brakes 4 wheel Vented disc
NO ABS
4 wheel Vented disc
NO ABS
4 wheel Vented disc
ABS
4 wheel Vented disc
ABS
4 wheel Vented disc
ABS
Exhaust Twin system Twin system Twin system
(special muffler)
Twin system
(special muffler)
Twin system
(special muffler)
Fuel Tank 72 litres 72 litres 85 litres 85 litres 85 litres
Top speed Speed limited
170 km/h (?)
Speed limited
170 km/h (?)
Speed limited
200 km/h
(limiter removed
gives 250+ km/h)
Speed limited
200 km/h
(limiter removed
gives 250+ km/h)
Speed limited
200 km/h
(limiter removed
gives 250+ km/h)
0-100 km/h (unknown) (unknown) 6.2 sec 6.2 sec 6.2 sec
1/4 mile (unknown) (unknown) 14.3 sec 14.3 sec 14.3 sec

In about 1993 the models were changed:
* Type S was renamed Type SX
* Type E was dropped (Luxury model now only available as Type ECCS, with 13BT or 20B)

The Cosmo had two engine options :
*20B 3 rotor Twin turbo (Designated 20B-REW), 280ps (official output. Unconfirmed unofficial power is different; I have heard claims of 300 - 330, even 350hp.
By my estimation these performance times indicate 145kW/Tonne*1590kg = 230kW*1.39 = 320hp
This estimate was made by charting several well known performance car's times versus power-weight ratio and drawing a trendline through the data. This is definitely an estimate as a whole host of factors are ignored by this method; nevertheless this figure agreed with the rumors).

*13B 2 rotor Twin turbo (Designated 13B-REW), 230ps
(Note, for both the 20B and 13B figures; ps is about the same as Horsepower, REW actually stands for Rotary Engine Double - As in Rotary Engine Double Turbo)

JC3S Cosmo FD3S RX7
Engine Name 13B-REW 13B-REW
Start of model Feb 1990 October? 1991-Japan
March 1992-Australia
Engine power 230ps 255ps

??UNCONFIRMED?? I have seen the Cosmo 13B referred to as 13B-RE, even though the Cosmo 13B engine was essentially the same as the 3rd generation RX7's 13B-REW engine.
However it had slightly less power, possibly in keeping with the 'luxury coupe' image. While I'm not certain, I think the intake manifold is of a different design with longer pipes to boost low down torque; making it more drivable.
On the other hand, perhaps Mazda was a bit unsure of the new 13B design, but increased the power/boost more for the RX7 once the design was proven.

The "special muffler" used on 20B Cosmos has two outlet pipes. One pipe is blocked by a vacuum operated butterfly valve during normal operation, that opens in high load situations for a freer flowing exhaust. As the Cosmo has two of these mufflers, they open individually (i.e. low load = 2 pipes only, progressing to 3 then 4).

The ECCS Cosmo is equipped with a single video panel in place of where the radio/heating controls are normally. "CCS" means "Car Control System" and is in control of all heating/air conditioning, the radio/tape/CD, GPS navigation, trip computer functions, television and all car diagnostics for servicing. Apart from this, the ECCS model is the same as the E (same mechanicals, interior, paint etc).
In the early stages of the Cosmo, ECCS was only available as a 20B powered car, however later the "E" model was dropped and all luxury cosmos (13B or 20B) were ECCS

The performance the 20B models is still competitive with some desirable 2001 models:
* Cosmo 20B; 6.2sec 0-100 kmh / 14.3sec 400m
* BMW 330i; 8.2 sec 0-100 kmh / 15.9sec 400m (Cosmo wins)
* Honda S2000; 6.6 sec 0-100kmh / 14.8sec 400m (Cosmo wins)
* Porsche Boxter 3.2S; 6.6sec 0-100kmh / 14.8sec 400m (Cosmo wins)
* Subaru WRX; 5.8sec 0-100 kmh / 14.2 sec 400m (Cosmo just loses to 4WD manual gearbox rally car)
* Audi RS4; 5.8 sec 0-100kmh / 14.0 sec 400m (Cosmo loses to 280kW twin turbo 5 valve V6 4WD)
* BMW M5; 5.5sec 0-100kmh / 13.8 sec 400m (Cosmo loses to 300kW 32 valve V8)

Even against the M5 this is only 2 or 3 car lengths over the quarter mile. Of course, handling in the Cosmo would not be to the standard of most in this group. Nevertheless pretty fast company -  not bad for a 10 year old luxury car. It is also faster than it's RX7 stable mate (Australian delivered models 176 kW/1310 kg = 6.29 sec 0-100kmh / 14.56 sec 400m)

(Futher data: S2000 = 140kW/Tonne, RS4=173kW/Tonne, 'Official' Cosmo 125kW/Tonne, My estimated real world Cosmo ~145kw/Tonne)

Cosmo Brochure

This brochure was sent to me by a friend in Japan. As it's too big to fit in my scanner I have taken some photos of it with a digital camera. I hope to add more pictures that I can from the brochure at a later stage.

JC Cosmo brochure Page 1 (756x504)
Brochure P1
(756x504)
JC Cosmo brochure Page 2&3 (756x504)
Brochure P2&3 (756x504)
JC Cosmo brochure Page 4&5 (756x504)
Brochure P4&5 (756x504)
JC Cosmo brochure Page 6&7 (756x504)
Brochure P6&7 (756x504)
JC Cosmo brochure Page 8&9 (756x504)
Brochure P8&9 (756x504)
JC Cosmo brochure Page 10&11 (756x504)
Brochure P10&11 (756x504)
JC Cosmo brochure Page 12&13 (756x504)
Brochure P12&13 (756x504)
JC Cosmo brochure Page 14&15 (756x504)
Brochure P14&15 (756x504)
JC Cosmo brochure Page 16&17 (756x504)
Brochure P16&17 (756x504)
JC Cosmo brochure Page 18&19 (756x504)
Brochure P18&19 (756x504)
JC Cosmo brochure Page 20&21 (756x504)
Brochure P20&21 (756x504)
JC Cosmo brochure Page 22&23 (756x504)
Brochure P22&23 (756x504)
JC Cosmo brochure Page 24&25 (756x504)
Brochure P24&25 (756x504)
JC Cosmo brochure Page 26&27 (756x504)
Brochure P26&27 (756x504)
JC Cosmo brochure Page 28 (756x504)
Brochure P28
(756x504)
JC Cosmo brochure Zoom in page 20 (756x504)
Zoom in Page 20 (756x504)
JC Cosmo brochure Zoom in page 22 (756x504)
Zoom in Page 22 (756x504)
JC Cosmo brochure Zoom in page 24 (756x504)
Zoom in Page 24 (756x504)
JC Cosmo brochure Zoom in page 25 (756x504)
Zoom in Page 25 (756x504)
JC Cosmo brochure Zoom in page 25 (756x504)
Zoom in Page 25 (756x504)

My Cosmo test drive

Thanks to DMRH special vehicles I was able to see and drive a Cosmo in April 1998.
The car was a 1991 or 1992 JC3S Type-S. (This is the "Sport" model, with the 13B engine. See above for more info about the different models.)

The car was in storage in a workshop in a small town on the outskirts of Melbourne. I visited fairly late in the afternoon and when the roller door went up the Cosmo was sitting in the garage. It felt like we were being shown a top secret prototype!
The car was around the same size as a 3rd generation RX7, and seemed a little smaller than I had imagined from the photos I've seen (like the ones above). It did look less bulky than a 300ZX, Supra or Lexus SC400. Keep in mind this was never intended to be a pure sports car like the RX7 - it's more intended as a luxury cruiser.

I must say that I liked the look of the car right from first glance. The quality of the whole car was very impressive - although the paint needed a good polish, it's finish was impeccable, as was the panel fit. Looking in the engine bay there is the 13B-REW engine, which is virtually identical to the 13B-REW in the 3rd generation RX7 except it has slightly less power (Cosmo 230hp vs RX7 255hp). I think this may be due to the Cosmo being launched a few months earlier than the RX7, so they wanted to ensure reliability by the lower power rating. The engine sits at the back of the engine bay, leaving a lot of room at the front of it as the 20B engine is used on other models.

The wheels are a six spoke design, with what is said to be styling cues to the 3 rotor twin turbo engine that powers the top line model. Being a 16 inch wheel with a 225 tyre they look quite impressive.

The interior was very nice. On this model, high quality cloth trim is used. The seats were very comfortable, but a little worn out. There are two seats in the back that looked like they would accommodate a full sized adult reasonably comfortably (much more room than in an RX7), with a high (well over hip height) transmission tunnel running the length of the cabin.

The dashboard was a wrap around design (similar to the 1992-1997 Honda Prelude). When the car is switched off none of the instruments are visible. When turned on, the instruments are analogue with the speedometer and tachometer having a blue electro luminescent scale and a standard mechanical analogue pointer, with an illuminated red line down it's length. The water temperature and fuel gauge were an analogue fluorescent display (no mechanical pointer, but at first glance it looked like there was). There was also fluorescent displays for the trip computer and clock, along with the usual warning lights.
I felt right at home sitting at the wheel.

When the time came for a test drive, the car was jump started (it had been in the workshop for several months) and it sprang into life without too much trouble. After warming it up for a few minutes we drove up the street to get some fuel as it was nearly empty. The reaction on people's faces was interesting - as I said before it was like we were driving a prototype car that doesn't really look like anything else sold in Australia. When we pulled in for fuel we had a few heart pounding moments when the police drove past, as the car had no number plates (driving it on a permit), however they were more interested to know what the car was rather than those minor details. I wish I had brought my camera at this stage! After fuelling up and checking the fluids once more we got stuck into the test drive.

Out on the highway we tried a few acceleration runs. As this, and all Cosmos, are automatics the low end performance was not too good. However, once the revs and the boost were up it got moving quite well. We reached 140 km/h with ease - From 110 to 140 only took about 5 seconds. As the car weighs 1490kg, some 280kg heavier than a 3rd generation RX7 and has 230hp vs the RX7's 255hp and an automatic it is obviously not as fast as the RX7. However, it did feel faster than a friend's mildly modified TurboII (2nd generation RX7). I'm advised that the 20B version has much more low down torque and it accelerates faster than the 3rd Generation RX7 (Although I think the RX7 has a better power-weight ratio thus is ultimately quicker over 400 meters).

When it was my turn to drive I felt right at home after only a minute or two. All the controls were in the expected places. With the large tyres the handling was quite good. I'm told that the 13B model we were driving handles better than the 20B model, which weighs another 100kg more - most of this weight is in the engine.
Although I only drove the car for a short distance it was a great experience to drive a Cosmo. I'd dare say that if this car was offered in the USA it would have sold well for it's comfort and power.


Eunos Cosmo type JC3S (756x504)
Eunos Cosmo JC3S (756x504)

Eunos Cosmo type JC3S (756x504)
Eunos Cosmo JC3S (756x504)

Eunos Cosmo type JC3S (756x504)
Eunos Cosmo JC3S (756x504)

Eunos Cosmo type JC3S (756x504)
Eunos Cosmo JC3S (756x504)

Eunos Cosmo type JC3S (756x504)
Eunos Cosmo JC3S (756x504)
Eunos Cosmo type JC3S (756x504)
Eunos Cosmo JC3S (756x504)
Eunos Cosmo type JC3S (756x504)
Eunos Cosmo JC3S (756x504)
Eunos Cosmo type JC3S (756x504)
Eunos Cosmo JC3S (756x504)
Eunos Cosmo type JC3S (756x504)
Eunos Cosmo JC3S (756x504)
Eunos Cosmo type JC3S (756x504)
Eunos Cosmo JC3S (756x504)
Eunos Cosmo type JC3S (756x504)
Eunos Cosmo JC3S (756x504)
Eunos Cosmo type JC3S (756x504)
Eunos Cosmo JC3S (756x504)
Eunos Cosmo type JC3S (756x504)
Eunos Cosmo JC3S (756x504)

Special thanks go to DMRH Special Vehicles of Sydney, Australia for organising the inspection and test drive. DMRH are currently undergoing a project to make the Cosmo comply to Australian Design Rules, which is principally the emissions (fuel tank, catalytic converter etc) and safety equipment (Seat belts, side intrusion bars etc). The car in the photos was half way through this compliance process, which is why it was a bit unkempt. However, once the compliance process is completed the cars are brought back to perfect condition through bodywork and reupholstering if required.
DMRH has also secured a supply channel for spare parts via a Mazda dealer in Sydney. They have the full parts book and can order any part for the Cosmo - Evidently the parts prices are comparable to other Mazda parts (RX7, 929 etc). Fortunately a lot of the engine parts are shared with the RX7, so full engine rebuilds can be done for around $AUS 3,000.
Depending mainly on kilometres and condition, A fully complianced JC Cosmo may be available for as little as $AUS 30,000 for a 13B model. 20B models usually start at $AUS 30,000. While it would theoretically be possible to convert one to Left Hand Drive for a customer in the USA or Europe, the costs of doing this would be prohibitive. (I would estimate around $US 40,000).


More Information

There are only a handful of JC Cosmos in Australia (under 30?). Rumour has it that a member of the Japanese Consulate bought one into the country brand new in the early 1990s. Most of the cars have been imported since about 1998, because it is only since then that they are 'affordable'. I think most of them are 20B models.

Further reading and acknowledgements:
* Thanks to DMRH special vehicles for the Cosmo test drive (see links).
* Thanks to Mr Nishizawa in Japan for sending me the Cosmo brochure and Magazine
* Thanks to Lance for helping with some information and photo of his car (see links)

Other relevant reading at Craig's Rotary Page (Please go via the INDEX page):
* 20B engine page (the 20B is the 3 rotor engine used in the Cosmo)

Other relevant sites on the Internet (Please go via the LINKS page):
* Lance at 3rotor.com has many photos & videos of several JC Cosmos and a 3 rotor powered 929.
* DMRH special vehicles imports JC Cosmos and other interesting cars to Australia.
* There are several Japanese websites featuring 20B Cosmos. Check the Mecha Godzira link.


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This page last updated 13/12/2001
Update History:
13/12/2001 - Minor tidy up and fixed some broken photos
19/3/2001 - Changed More Information section to new format. Spell checked. All pictures used on this page now stored in PG09_XXY.ZZZ Converted all text to new standard (Headings as Heading1, Some sub-headings (e.g. tables) as 14 point normal bold italic, Most text as Normal, Internal page links at top not all uppercase). Changed from Netscape to FrontPage. Background image changed to PG00_02B.JPG
6/04/1998 - Previous known update (May have been some before this)


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