Showdown: Land of the Rising Maple Leaf Edition

It’s been a while since our last Showdown, where the bruiser Lincoln Capri crushed a Ginetta G4 under its ‘Merican heel. This week, we’re not crossing an ocean, just the 49th Parallel. Hearing the (old) news (for the first time via Autoblog) that those dirty Quebecois are looking to restrict importation of RHD imports reminded me of just how jealous I am of my northerly neighbors, who seem to be swimming in discarded Delicas and abandoned Aristos. Need more convincing?

The Mazda (ok, insufferable Mazda fanboy, it’s technically a Eunos) Cosmo is probably most famous for being the only receptacle around for the impossibly awesome, wallet-shatteringly complicated, 20B-REW. That’s a 2 liter, 3-rotor, twin sequential turbocharged unit making about 300 HP and 300 ft-lbs of torque. This made the Cosmo capable of eating up Canadian dollars even faster than it sucked fuel and oil, whose consumption was prodigious in its own right. Much like a Mercedes 300SEL 6.3 of yore, this is a high-strung, high-tech machine. Can you afford to feed it? Can you afford NOT to?

Compared to the Cosmo, this little Lancer is positively pedestrian, being based on a humble compact sedan. There’s nothing humble about the boosted drivetrain, because although Mitsubishi stuffed the 4G63 Sirius engine into pretty much every vehicle they could, it made a healthy 237 HP in Evo I trim. Factor in AWD lifted from the earlier Galant VR-4, and it was a contender. Perhaps more importantly, it kicked off a whole series of Lancer Evos, and a performance heritage rivaled only by its rival, the Impreza WRX. Future classic? It’s a present classic.
So what will it be?
[poll id=”17″]

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21 responses to “Showdown: Land of the Rising Maple Leaf Edition”

  1. Peter_Dushenski Avatar

    That Mazda should be a contender on Project Canadian Hell.

  2. joshuman Avatar

    Slap some stickers, numbers, and snow tires on the Mitsu and hit the forest service roads with gusto.

  3. Froggmann_ Avatar

    LOVE the Cosmo trust me they are a beautiful car inside and out. Given that statement you can only guess my choice.

  4. Tim Odell Avatar
    Tim Odell

    The Lancer's cool, but not all that unique.
    The Cosmo's insane, anonymous and powerful all at the same time.

    1. Han_Solex Avatar

      I kind of thought more people would be into the Ur-EVO … any of the "-REW" Mazda engines scare the crap out of me. So complicated. Maybe a better match up would have been a twin-turbo Soarer or something – more common, but the same sort of grand tourer.

  5. scroggzilla Avatar

    My head says Evo, my heart….and my loins…cry out for the Cosmo.

  6. ladle666 Avatar

    i would choose the cosmo any/every day….. i think a sh*tload of people would ask (out-loud or not) is that an 8 (series bmw)??
    i don't care what they may ask… that is getting close to sex on wheels.
    yes, there are cars i'd rather have… yes there are cars in the same price range that i'd chose over it… but if i had no choice other than those featured…… cosmo.

  7. Alan Avatar

    That gen Cosmo ranks among the coolest and most exotic cars ever built by Japan. They contained tech levels still impressive by today's luxury section.
    8.0 MPG HWY – official rating.

    1. dculberson Avatar

      Jesus. 8mpg, really? I have never heard of fuel consumption that terrible in a car.

      1. smokyburnout Avatar

        The Bugatti Veyron is also rated at 8 MPG city, as is the Lamboghini Murcielago (with the 6-speed, the paddle-shifted version gets 9). The Ferrari Enzo got 8 MPG combined (7 city)! Of course, all of these cars have engines slightly larger than the Cosmo's 2-liter rotary.

        1. Alan Avatar

          8 MPG – CITY. We're talking HWY miles here.

  8. muthalovin Avatar

    How is this even a contest. EVO FTW Y'ALL!!!! I voted for the evo because that engine can take the beating. The Cosmo? Hmmm:
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  9. SSurfer321 Avatar

    I'll take the EVO. <insert obligatory Doritos comment here>

  10. soo΄pәr-bādd75 Avatar

    The Cosmo is So. Damn. Awesome. on too many levels, but my distate for things that make my brain hurt just makes me say Evo all the way. Project car or not, I'd like at least a smidgen of reliability, and the Mitsu's got that all over the Eunos.

  11. DeadinSideInc Avatar

    Next time I have to buy a car I'm grabbing the weirdest JDM pile of awesome I can find – Like a Eunos Cosmo! Or a SWB Landcruiser.

  12. smokyburnout Avatar

    Only a handful of people will know that the Evo isn't a Mirage that you "pimped out." The Cosmo is unmistakably awesome. Cosmo all the way.

  13. Tomsk Avatar

    Deffo the Cosmo. It's a Detroit-style personal luxury car run through a Japanification filter, and the 3-rotor is the cherry on top.

  14. smokyburnout Avatar

    Only a handful of people will know that the Evo isn't a Mirage that you "pimped out." The Cosmo is unmistakably awesome. Cosmo all the way.

    1. Han_Solex Avatar

      Is that really the point? I think most people would think the Cosmo was just a 929 coupe or something.

      1. smokyburnout Avatar

        It's not the point. I couldn't care less what other people think of my car. I don't think I could convince myself that the Evo was much more than a really cool Mirage, while the Cosmo is one of my favorite cars ever, which embodies so many things I find awesome in a car.

  15. rocketrodeo Avatar

    There can't be more than a handful of Eunos (Eunes) in North America. A unique car, with an engine configuration found absolutely nowhere else. How could this even be a contest?
    Why is this Bugeye smiling? In case you want to hear an angry triple-rotor S'prise: