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Mazda Turns 100 Years Old, Celebrates With 100th Anniversary Special Editions

Founded in 1920 as a cork producer, Mazda started making motor vehicles in 1931. The company’s three-wheeled truck wan then superseded by passenger cars in the 1960s with the introduction of the R360 Coupe, and the rest – as they say – is history.
Mazda 100th Anniversary Special Edition MX-5 Miata 9 photos
Mazda 100th Anniversary Special EditionMazda 100th Anniversary Special EditionMazda 100th Anniversary Special EditionMazda 100th Anniversary Special EditionMazda 100th Anniversary Special EditionMazda 100th Anniversary Special EditionMazda 100th Anniversary Special EditionMazda 100th Anniversary Special Edition
To celebrate the Japanese automaker’s 100th anniversary, pretty much every model in the lineup has been treated to the 100th Anniversary Special Edition. All ten of them (yes, ten!) are harking back to the R360 Coupe mentioned in the previous paragraph with a two-tone color combination, and all of them are based on upper trim levels.

The only nameplate that’s missing from the list is the BT-50 pickup truck, a mid-size workhorse that isn’t selling too well for a couple of reasons. First and foremost, it’s an old design with Ford Ranger underpinnings from eons ago. And secondly, the next generation is right around the corner with underpinnings from the Isuzu D-Max.

Turning our attention back to the 100th Anniversary Special Edition, the Snowflake White Pearl Mica premium paintwork is complemented by red accents both outside and in the cabin. The wheel center caps, front fenders, headrests, floor mats, and key fob are treated to celebratory garnish as well, but that’s not all there is to these models.

The badging is also unique, overlaying the Mazda logo over the Toyo Kogyo Co. logo from the olden days. The design, therefore, pays tribute to the company’s founder, his desires, and the boldness that Mazda showcased time and again over the years.

One such example is the adoption of the rotary engine. Kenichi Yamamoto is the man who perfected Felix Wankel’s design, a design that was proprietary to German automaker NSU back in the 1960s. Kenichi went on to become president and chairman of Mazda in the 1980s, and under his leadership, the Mazda 787B of Mazdaspeed finished first at the 1991 edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race.

Having said that, remember those rumors from a few years ago that a rotary sports car would be shown as the Japanese automaker’s big surprise for the 100th anniversary? Well, the RX-9 still is nowhere to be found.

press release
 
 
 
 
 

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