It was marketed as ‘The pickup with pickup’. The star of this truck, hence the name, is its rotary engine. It was an 80 CID 4bbl 2-Rotor type. Horsepower was 110 and torque was 117. It was backed with either a 4-speed manual transmission or a 3-speed automatic unit. The rear axle ratio with the manual was 4.625 and with the automatic it was 4.375. Acceleration was decent for an import truck at 0-60 at 11 seconds and the quarter mile at 18.3 seconds. This was on par with most 70s era cars.
Its payload was respectable for the time at 1400 lbs of capacity. The bed was 6 feet in length. On the tailgate was lettering with the prominent description ‘rotary powered’. The truck itself weighed just 2725 lbs. Its front suspension was independently coil sprung.
The Rotary Pickup was sold just through 1977. The engine was a novelty, but didn’t seem to meet expectations of truck-use because rotaries are not known for torque down low in the rpm range that trucks need. The truck itself met expectations of durability, but this truck was never meant to be a long term model. Today, like all Japanese trucks from the 70s, many have been returned to the earth as rust. The Mazda Rotary Pickup is sure to be a collectors item down the line.