Every Mazda Sports Car You Should Know

Learn about Mazda’s vibrant sports car history and what’s available on the market today.
Written by Tiffany Leung
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
Updated on Mar 23, 2023
Mazda’s first rotary sports car, the Cosmo 110S, was an instant hit and propelled the car maker further into innovation. The all-time favorite Mazda MX-5 Miata is an iconic little roadster that has been around for over 30 years.
Mazda’s humble beginnings may be shocking to many, as they started as a cork manufacturer in 1920. Today, Mazda is best known for its rotary engine technology. Being one of the world’s premier automakers, it’s no wonder that every sports car released, like the current Mazda MX-5 Miata, has been highly praised. 
We're here to explore the wonders of Mazda sports cars with a guide to the brand’s sports car history.

Does Mazda make sports cars?

Yes, and some would say they’re quite good at it. Mazda continues to defy convention with breakthrough technology and is the only carmaker in the world to deliver a mass-produced rotary engine. 
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Cosmo Sport 110S

The Mazda Cosmo Sport 110S was Mazda’s very first sports car with a rotary engine. The Cosmo was divided into two series: Series I had a 1-L 2-rotor engine that produced 110 hp and Series II delivered 130 hp.
Since the Cosmo was made by hand, Mazda’s Hiroshima factory only produced one unit a day from 1967 to 1972. A total of under 1,500 units were built, making it extremely rare and highly sought after by car enthusiasts with an average sale value of $136,918.

2022 Mazda MX-5 Miata

The 2022
Mazda MX-5 Miata
, starting at $28,665, is the brand’s best-selling sports car. It offers an open-top experience with eager handling and well-tuned controls, which quickly made it an enthusiast favorite.
This joyride is outfitted with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 181 hp and 151 lb-ft of torque. Weighing less than 2,400 pounds, the Miata has the perfect power-to-weight ratio with a near-perfect 50/50 weight distribution and reaches 0-60 mph in 5.7 seconds.
While the Miata’s playful handling is perfect for zipping through curvy roads, this automotive icon does come with extremely limited cabin and cargo space.


The Mazda RX-VISION rotary sports car concept was first revealed at the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show. This mysterious concept car introduces the next-generation SKYACTIV-R rotary engine. Based on the “KODO Soul of Motion” design theme, the Mazda RX-VISION concept was voted the "Most Beautiful Concept Car" at the 2016 International Automobile Festival in Paris.
The design goal was to eliminate non-essential features to create a unique and instantly recognizable sports car with an impossibly low overall height. Every aspect has been carefully considered, down to the body color—a special red that is bright yet full of depth.
The RX-VISION is proof of Mazda’s undying motivation to further develop and evolve the rotary engine, despite the retirement of the RX-8 in 2012. Although the RX-VISION is still a concept, we are looking forward to the day it becomes a reality.

A history of the Mazda sports car

Mazda has churned out delightful sports cars since 1967, starting with the Cosmo 110S. Revered as the only carmaker to mass-produce rotary engines, Mazda continues to develop its technology in hopes to bring the next generation of rotary engines to the market. Below is a timeline of some keystone moments in the history of the Mazda sports cars. 
1964: Mazda presents the Mazda Cosmo 110S prototype at the 1964 Tokyo Motor Show—the very first Mazda with a rotary engine, dubbed the Mazda Wankel engine. The name “Cosmo” was chosen to showcase the brand’s focus on forward-thinking innovation. 80 pre-production Cosmos were produced for the Mazda test department and dealership testing between 1965 and 1966.
1967: Full production of the Cosmo 110S began—each Cosmo was built by hand and one was produced each day from 1967 to 1972.
1978: The first-generation Mazda RX-7 enters the market, again fitted with the Wankel rotary engine. This model was a game-changer as it was powerful yet affordable. By allowing more enthusiasts to get behind the wheel, the RX-7 became extremely successful and was produced until 1991. 
1989: The MX5-Miata debuted at the 1989 Chicago auto show and has since developed a cult following. This near-perfect sports car has won numerous awards and continues to be Mazda’s best seller of all time. 
2003: The RX-8 took inspiration from the RX-7 and Cosmo 110S, and was launched in 2003 and was produced until 2012. The Wankel rotary engine returns to the mainstream and was well-received by car enthusiasts around the world. The rear-hinged “freestyle” doors were also a popular feature.
2015: The RX-VISION is teased at the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show, giving the world a glimpse of Mazda’s ingenuity and drive to fulfill its vision to deliver true driving pleasure.

How to save money on Mazda insurance

Whether you plan to buy a Mazda sports car or already own one, check to see if you have the proper
car insurance
to protect your new car. If you haven’t shopped for new car insurance in the past six months, there is a high chance of finding a better rate. 
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