After more than 43 years of selling vehicles in North America, Mazda finally sold its ten-millionth vehicle – a 2013 Mazda 3 – in the United States.
Mazda #10,000,000 was sold to Lauren Carter, an accounts receivable specialist/guitar teacher based out of Glen Ellyn, Illinois. Carter’s purchase of a 2013 Mazda3 was not only her first new car purchase, but a major milestone for Mazda’s U.S. operations.
Despite purchasing a 2013 Mazda3, Carter won’t actually take delivery of the car. Instead, Mazda North American Operations stepped in and exchanged Carter’s 2013 Mazda3 with a comparable new 2014 Mazda3. The historic 2013 Mazda3 will be retained by Mazda itself, and according to press releases, kept as a permanent part of Mazda’s historic vehicle collection.
Both the 2013 Mazda3 and 2014 Mazda3 are admittedly a far cry from the very first Mazda officially sold in the United States. Although Mazda had entered the North America market by selling cars in Canada as early as 1968, its first formal foray into the U.S. came when it started importing the R100 – a rotary-powered version of the second-generation Familia Coupe – in 1970. (Fun fact: the Familia product line evolved several times until 2003, when it was replaced with the Axela/ Mazda3.
Despite wearing a $2495 price tag and receiving fairly favorable press at the time of its introduction, only 2098 were sold in the United States in 1970. That isn’t surprising, considering Mazda initially only sold the cars in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, and Alaska. Mazda's U.S. dealer network blossomed further in 1971, as did the product portfolio, which grew to include the non-rotary form of the R100, the (Familia) 1200, the larger Luce 1800, and both the RX-2 and its non-rotary counterpart, the 616.
How does the 1970 R100 – the first Mazda sold in the U.S. – compare to the 2014 Mazda3? We’ve stacked up the specs below for your enjoyment.
|1970 Mazda R100||2014 Mazda3i 5-Door||2014 Mazda3s 5-Door|
|Length||150.8 in||175.6 in||175.6 in|
|Wheelbase||88.9 in||106.3 in||106.3 in|
|Width||58.3 in||70.7 in||70.7 in|
|Height||52.9 in||57.3 in||57.3 in|
|Curb Weight||2015 lbs||2797 lbs||3002 lbs|
|Engine||1.0L Two-rotor Wankel rotary engine||2.0L DOHC 16-valve I-4||2.5L DOHC 16-valve I-4|
|Bore & Stroke||n/a||3.29 x 3.59||3.5 x 3.94|
|Fuel Delivery||4-barrell Hitachi carubretor||Direct injection||Direct injection|
|Horsepower||100 @ 7000 rpm||155 @6000 rpm||184 @ 5700 rpm|
|Torque, lb-ft||92 @ 4000 rpm||150 @ 4000 rpm||185 @ 3250 rpm|
|Transmission||Four-speed manual||Six-speed manual||Six-speed automatic|
|Ratio, First Gear||3.74||3.363||3.552|
|Ratio, Second Gear||2.2||1.947||2.022|
|Ratio, Third Gear||1.44||1.3||1.452|
|Ratio, Fourth Gear||1||1.029||1|
|Ratio, Fifth Gear||-||0.837||0.708|
|Ratio, Sixth Gear||-||0.68||0.599|
|Final Drive Ratio||3.7||3.85||3.389|
|Construction||Unitized body||Unitized body||Unitized body|
|Suspension, Front||MacPherson strut, coil spring||MacPherson strut, coil spring||MacPherson strut, coil spring|
|Suspension, rear||Live axle, leaf springs||Indpendent, multi-link||Indpendent, multi-link|
|Brakes, Front||9.6-inch disc||11-inch disc||11.6-inch disc|
|Brakes, Rear||7.9-inch drum||10.4-inch disc||10.4-inch disc|
|Wheels:||14 x 4.0-inch steel||16 x 6.5||18 x 7|
|Tires:||Bridgestone 145 SR 14 radial ply||Bridgestone 205/60R16 91H all-season||Dunlop 215/45R18 89W all-season|
|0-60 mph||10.8 seconds||-||-|
|Top speed:||110 mph||130 mph (limited)||130 mph (limited)|
|Fuel economy||16-24 mpg||29 mpg city, 40 mpg highway||27 mpg city, 37 mpg highway|