But its styling is more polarizing than ever.
Mazda has made some truly special cars over the years, many of which we never got in the US. One such vehicle is the Mazda Cosmo, a classic that brought the rotary engine to the masses back in 1967. Without this vintage two-seater, the Mazda RX-7 and the rotary engine may never have even been built, let alone reached the heights that they did. Now, some Japanese design students have recognized the Cosmo's place in Mazda's history and have decided to try to bring it into the 21st century with a modern interpretation based on another of Mazda's greatest hits - the MX-5 Miata.
The Mazda MX-5 Miata underpinning this new Cosmo, called the Cosmo Vision, is the current ND model. With a 1.5-liter four-cylinder, it's not the most powerful thing around, but since the original Cosmo had a maximum of just 128 horsepower, we don't think anyone will mind. The thing that many will take issue with, however, is the styling. Sure, the original was quirky, but it fit with the styling of that era. This, on the other hand, looks insane, and not in a good way. Still, it was intended to turn heads at the Tokyo Auto Salon before COVID hit and now has been revealed online for the world to see. In case you're wondering who's behind the creation, it's students from NATS Nihon Automobile College in Japan.
Obviously, the molded body is the biggest change to the underlying MX-5, featuring plenty of body putty to achieve such wild aesthetics. The headlights are from a 'Millennium' Volkswagen Beetle while the grille and front fascia has been adapted from a Mazda CX-5. The side markers are from a Honda Insight, but this mash-up relies on aftermarket parts too. Bride seats are fitted along with a Nardi steering wheel, Air Force air suspension sets the stance as low as possible, and classic Rays TE37 wheels fill the arches in 17-inch sizing. At present, the car is not street legal, but with enough interest, the students behind this project are considering homologating it for road use and possible production. In our opinion, one of these in the world is already too many.