In January, Mazda added another milestone to its interesting history, marking its 100th year in the manufacturing business. The company started as a cork manufacturer, but in 1931 the Hiroshima-based company ventured into building three-wheeled trucks. They would manufacture their first proper passenger car in 1960 – the R360 Coupe.
And how do they mark this celebration? They are honouring the R360 Coupe with Special Edition models. These models were to be unveiled at the 2020 Geneva Motor Show, which we know had been cancelled. Before the grand reveal, we’re giving you a sneak peek of what to expect.
First We Introduce the R360
The iconic R360 is as a two-door, four-seat coupe, with production running from 1960 to 1966. It paved the way for Mazda to capture the Japanese Kei car market. It came with a 1753mm wheelbase and weighed only 380kg. There was a convertible version introduced in 1964, which, together with the Mazda P360, augmented the R360.
A rear-mounted 355cc air-cooled V-twin engine powered it, pushing the R360 to a peak power of 12kW and 22Nm of torque with a maximum speed of 84 km/h. The V-twin came with either a 4-speed manual or 2-speed automatic transmission. It had rubber springs and torsion bars for the front and rear suspension.
The Limited Edition Models
According to Mazda, they produced these special-edition models to pay tribute to their first-ever vehicle and to show appreciation for the support they received from customers through the years. The earliest we expect these models to hit our showrooms is 2021. They also have yet to announce the specifications for the models to be sold in Australia, but what's certain is that the following models will receive bespoke features reminiscent of the R360.
- Mazda 2
- Mazda 3
- Mazda CX-3
- Mazda CX-30
- Mazda CX-5
- Mazda CX-8
- Mazda MX-5
- Mazda 6
So What Exciting Features Can We Expect from this Special Edition?
Let's start with the logo. As a reminder of their history, they chose to combine the current Mazda brand with the rounded logo, which they used in their first cars. The next noticeable feature is the Snowflake White Pearl Mica-painted exterior to resemble the original R360. Convertibles will rock a red, and we also expect an extraordinarily well-equipped and elegant interior. Though we do not know the exact features, we know that it will be wrapped in burgundy leather, and the same colour scheme will be used on the floor mats and carpets.
They plan on having the logo engraved with "100 years; 1920-2020" on the headrests, floor mats, key fob, wheel caps, and front fender.
What Is the Expected Price Range?
Mazda has not announced the price yet, but we expect a ballpark range of $24,000-50,000, which is the average for 2020 luxury models. Consider, however, that these are limited-edition models, so a little bit of spillover from that range is not surprising. As their reveal draws near, we invite you to watch out for updates at Carpart.com.au.
If you're looking for car parts for these models or an ambitious R360 restoring project, our auto parts finding tool can help you in your search. We have thousands of sellers from across Australia who supply original and aftermarket car parts to customers in the country, New Zealand, and other nearby regions. Stay tuned!
By Eric Anyega