10 hidden gems in the Mazda Museum Hiroshima

Renovated in May 2022, the famous Mazda Museum is a favourite among visitors to Hiroshima. Throughout the 10 zones, there’s an abundance of automotive history just waiting to be discovered.

The Mazda Museum, located in Mazda’s Hiroshima headquarters and accessible to the public, is the ideal place to relive Mazda’s eminent and vibrant past. Over 10 different zones, the Mazda Museum captures over 100 years of this unique history, from challenging and innovative technologies to award-winning design and next-gen engineering. There’s a perfect encapsulation of Mazda’s challenger spirit in each zone, with numerous automotive delights to be found…

Zone 1

The Little Three-Wheeler That Rebuilt Hiroshima

In Osaka, Japan, Jujiro Matsuda started Mazda’s journey, and one of the earliest Mazda vehicles is also one of its most remarkable: a three-wheeled ‘truck’.

Must see: The Type-TCS welcomes visitors to the Mazda Museum and perfectly encapsulates the brand’s eclectic history. It was made entirely from domestically manufactured parts, was 40% more powerful than its predecessor, the Type-DA, and could carry an impressive 400kg cargo. Later, in 1938, Mazda launched the Type-GA and resumed production just four months after the end of the Second World War. In the following year, 1946, it reached the top of the market with a production volume of 2,430 units. It quickly became nicknamed “Green Panel”, nodding to the green instrument panel symbolising peace and safety. Type-GA remained in production until 1949. Today, the Mazda Museum exhibits its successor model, the Type-GB, in the iconic “Green Panel” colour.

Zone 2-3

Must see: Mazda’s most historic and recognisable vehicles include the Cosmo Sport, Savanna, and Cosmo AP (pictured below). Notably, the Cosmo AP was one of the first vehicles to launch in red, a rarity for vehicles in the mid-20th century as high-end vehicles were typically made with black, white or silver colourways as standard. With this unconventional approach came Mazda’s unique connection to the colour, which is still synonymous with the brand today. The Cosmo Sport, too, is somewhat of a rarity as some 480 of approximately 1200 vehicles are still on the road today.

Zone 4

The Group C Sports Prototype That Won Le Mans

Must see: One of the most eye-catching installations is the Mazda 787B (pictured), which flew to victory at the brutal 24 Hours of Le Mans. The museum shows the 787B in a pit garage set-up, where visitors can also witness memorabilia from endurance racing’s most famous events. In 1991, Johnny Herbert, Volker Weidler and Bertrand Gachot drove team Mazdaspeed to a historic victory.

Zone 5-6

Must see: Mazda’s first and only V12 engine can be seen in Zone 5, which had a displacement of 4000cc and was developed during the late 1980s through to 1992. By connecting two V6 engines, the development team wanted to build an engine for the best car in the world. The V12 engine was never brought to market, but Mazda’s challenger spirit lived on in its unique engine designs, including a three-rotor rotary engine and a Miller cycle V6 engine.

Zone 7

The SUV That Gave The World ‘Kodo: Soul of Motion’

The Mazda CX-5, Mazda6, and MX-5 represent Mazda’s new era, with game-changing Skyactiv Technology and unique Kodo Design.

Must see: The Mazda CX-5 SUV, released in 2012, was the first vehicle to present Mazda’s new ‘Kodo: Soul of Motion’ design theme. It’s said that the sleek, sporty silhouette was inspired by a cheetah ready to pounce on its prey, and the forward-thinking design was matched only by the Skyactiv technology, which maximises driving performance and efficiency. It’s a crossover SUV with plenty of charm.

Zone 8-9

The Crumpled Car, Destroyed On Purpose

With brilliant vehicles comes uncompromising safety standards. A series of striking installations can be seen, as well as the opportunity to witness Mazda vehicles being made in real time.

Must see: A Mazda CX-30 damaged during routine safety testing (pictured) makes for one of the most recognisable moments in the Mazda Museum. While the damage to the front of the vehicle is extensive, the cockpit and interior remain well-protected. In Zone 9, too, you can also walk above the Mazda production line at the Ujina factory, which produces 1000 cars every day. Each vehicle takes around 15 hours of precise work to be completed.

Zone 10

Looking To The Next Century Across Zone 10, be sure to witness Mazda’s bold, future-proof strategy and unique Kodo designs, including a bicycle, a sofa and a spectacular Goshintai sculpture.

Must see: The sweeping, elegant exteriors and exhilarating nature of the Mazda Vision Coupe and RX-VISION (pictured) offer the perfect end note for the Mazda Museum in Zone 10. Each of these cars was brought to life using the combined skills of an expert clay modeller, who used their skills to transform ideas into life-sized models that would then later become concept vehicles. Neighbouring the two concept cars is the Mazda LM55 Vision Gran Turismo, which is a life-size model of the car available in the Gran Turismo racing game. The vehicle fuses Mazda’s Kodo design philosophy with a nod to the Le Mans-winning Mazda 787B.