Mazda R360

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Mazda R360[1]
AssemblyHiroshima Assembly, Hiroshima, Japan
Body and chassis
ClassKei car
Body style2-door coupé
LayoutRR layout
Engine356 cc V-twin
Transmission4-speed manual
2-speed automatic
Wheelbase1,760 mm (69.3 in)
Length2,980 mm (117.3 in)
Width1,290 mm (50.8 in)
Height1,290 mm (50.8 in)
Curb weight380 kg (838 lb)
SuccessorMazda P360

The Mazda R360 is a kei car manufactured and marketed by Mazda as the company's first passenger car — a two-door, four-seat coupé. Introduced in 1960, the R360 featured a 1,760 mm (69.3 in) wheelbase, weighed 380 kg (838 lb) and was powered by a rear-mounted air-cooled 356 cc V-twin engine producing 16 PS (12 kW)[1] and 22 N⋅m (16 lb⋅ft) of torque. The car was capable of 84 km/h (52 mph)[2] and featured a 4-speed manual or two-speed automatic transmission.[1] The suspension, front and rear, was rubber "springs" and torsion bars.[citation needed]

Within a few years of introducing the R360, Mazda had captured much of the lightweight (kei car) market in Japan. The R360 was augmented by the Mazda P360 "Carol" two-door and four-door sedan in 1962. Production of the R360 lasted for six years.

V-twin engine, Mazda R360 Coupé


There were two variants of the Mazda R360, officially known as KRBB and KRBC.[3] Both variants were very similar visually, however the first generation, KRBB came with a 4-speed manual transmission, whereas the second generation KRBC came with a 2-speed "TORQ DRIVE" automatic transmission.

Mazda R360 "TORQ DRIVE" emblem
Mazda R360 "TORQ DRIVE" emblem

Mazda R360 Performance[4][edit]

Maximum Speed Minimum Turning Radius Fuel Consumption (with 2 passangers) Braking Distance
95km/h (85km/h) 4.0m 32km/l (25km/l) 13m(50km/h)


Type Bore x Stroke Displacement Compression Ratio Maximum BHP Maximum Torque
Forced Air-cooled,2-Cylinder,4-Cycle,90degree V 60 x 63mm 356cc 8.0 16ps/5300rpm 2.2kgm/4000rpm

Interior and exterior colours[edit]


The standard Mazda R360 came in 3 different exterior whole-body colours; Opal Gren, Maroon Rouge and Somerset Blue. [6]

The non-standard Deluxe Mazda R360 came in multi colour variants; Blue and Cream and Red and Cream. [7]


For the interior of the Mazda R360, the official colour choices were Red or Blue. These colour options were available for the seats, carpet and inner door panels.[8]


Shinpachi Kaizuka
Shinpachi Kaizuka

Mazda's history is one of the oldest among the ten remaining automobile companies in Japan today. However, the start surprisingly had nothing to do with automobiles.

It all started with cork production.

The post-World War I recession was a catastrophe for many small and medium-sized businesses, just like a storm over a fleet of ships. From Meiji to Taisho

Kiyotani Shokai, which operated a cork bottle factory in Hiroshima City, was no exception. It was on the verge of bankruptcy. Therefore, Shinpachi Kaizuka, president of the Hiroshima Industrial Bank, played a central role in rebuilding the company as a company organization and rescuing it. He paid around 10,000 yen (about 1.5 billion yen today).

Toyo Cork Kogyo Co., Ltd.[10], which was established on January 31, 1920, was the predecessor of Mazda. The address is 10 Nakajima Shinmachi, Hiroshima City, and the capital is 50. Mr. Kaizuka was appointed as the first president, and Jujiro Matsuda was appointed as a director at this time. Jujiro was born in Niho, Hiroshima Prefecture. Mr Kaizuka was 45 years old at the time. After working as an apprentice at a blacksmith and as a machinist at a naval arsenal, he became an independent businessman and was involved in the manufacture of weapons in Osaka. Unfortunately, he didnt get on in the company very, so he left the company and returned to his hometown of Hiroshima, where he had just started anew. However, in the merchant town of Osaka, he was called "Ima Taiko". He quickly swiftly demonstrated his ability, and in March 1925, he assumed the position of the second president.[11]

The company grew steadily through extensive facility expansion and aggressive management. Due to the bankruptcy of a customer due to the Great Kanto Earthquake, and a fire at a factory that caused further damage, the company was hit hard. Jujiro struggled to raise sufficient money and barely succeeded in rebuilding the company back up after these set backs.

After this set back, Jujiro decided to enter the machinery sector, his specialty. In June 1927, Toyo Cork added the machinery business to its corporate objectives, and in September changed its name to Toyo Kogyo Co., Ltd., supported by steady orders from the military arsenal. This was reasonably succesfful for Toyo Kogyo Co., Ltd.

Then, in 1929, as part of Jujiro's policy that "a company must have its own product"[12], Jujiro carried out a fact-finding survey regarding cars. Reviewing the results, the design team including engineer Seizo Takebayashi, immediately began designing motorcycles and tricycles.

Mazda-Go Type-DC.jpg

In 1999, he successfully prototyped six 2-stroke 250cc motorcycles[13] based on Francis Barnett and Danelt. This prototype in october of the same year wont the race held at Hiroshima West Parade Ground, defeating the prestigious British Ariel and many others. This helped make Toyo Kogyo's (new) name a world-wide phenomenon.

Luckily in February 1953, the standards for small vehicles under the Ministry of Home Affairs Traffic Control Regulations were expanded and revised.[14] A wheeled prototype was completed in Autum. In October 1931, the memorable "Mazda-Go DA-type" was the first car Mazda put out on to the market.[15] This vehicle consisted of a single frame made of less steel, a transmission with reverse, a rear axle with a differential gear (D in DA type means with differential).

B360 Pickup[edit]

The B360 was a pickup truck bodystyle based on parts of the R360 Coupé. It used the same 356 cc engine, but in a front-engine, rear-wheel-drive layout. Like most pickups, it used a rigid rear axle and leaf spring suspension. The engine was replaced with the Carol's 358 cc I4 in 1964, and the B360 was replaced by the Mazda E360 in 1967.

A larger B600 pickup was introduced for the export market. It used a 577 cc version of the Mazda V-twin.


  1. ^ a b c "Mazda R360 Coupe". [240 Landmarks of Japanese Automotive Technology]. Society of Automotive Engineers of Japan, Inc. 2007. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 14 January 2013.
  2. ^ Dimartino, Marco (2020-03-11). "Mazda R360 Coupe: la storia di successo della prima autovettura" [Mazda R360 Coupe: the success story of the first passenger car]. Quotidiano Motori (in Italian). H Fusion Media & Communications Limited. Archived from the original on 2020-10-12.
  3. ^ "Mazda R360 - Specification". Retrieved 2022-10-04.
  4. ^ "Mazda R360 - Specification". Retrieved 2022-10-04.
  5. ^ "Mazda R360 - Specification". Retrieved 2022-10-04.
  6. ^ "Mazda R360 - Colours". Retrieved 2022-10-04.
  7. ^ "Mazda R360 - Colours". Retrieved 2022-10-04.
  8. ^ "Mazda R360 - Colours". Retrieved 2022-10-04.
  9. ^ "Mazda R360 - History". Retrieved 2022-10-04.
  10. ^ "MAZDA: A Story Behind the Name of "Mazda" | We are Mazda". Retrieved 2022-10-04.
  11. ^ "Why is Mazda Called Mazda? | Rewind & Capture". Retrieved 2022-10-04.
  12. ^ "R360 Coupe History". Retrieved 2022-10-04.
  13. ^ "MAZDA: motorcycle | We are Mazda". Retrieved 2022-10-04.
  14. ^ "Mazda R360 - History". Retrieved 2022-10-04.
  15. ^ "MAZDA: Mazda-Go 3-wheeled trucks | Great Cars of Mazda". Retrieved 2022-10-04.

External links[edit]