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There are affordable cars, and then there are cars that offer thrilling performance. Rarely do the two ever converge, but Japanese automaker Mazda has made it a tradition of coming up with vehicles that combine both of these eminently desirable traits.

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Like several other Japanese makers, Mazda produced V-twin engines for their three-wheeled delivery vehicles of the nineteen fifties. These were also used in some of the tiny keicars of the 1960s. These were essentially motorcycle engines, and were largely superseded by water-cooled straight-4 engines in a few years, except for in the Mazda R360 which remained in production until 1969 especially for the handicapped.

The first automobile engine from Mazda was the 356 cc (60x63 mm) air-cooled 90°V-twin. It was an overhead valve 4-valve push rod design. This engine produced 16 hp (11.9 kW) and 16 lb·ft (22 Nm) in the 1960

The engine was enlarged to 577 cc for the 1961 B600

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