Mazda to showcase new concept
Mazda has unveiled a new concept called the Shinari at a private press event held in Milan recently, ahead of the Paris Motor Show 2010. This new four-door coupe concept will give the public a hint to the future direction the Mazda family will take in terms of design language. Pretty much sums it up right?
Given the designation “Kodo”, it replaces the extremely weird Nagare design language that we’ve all become accustomed to, most recently seen on the latest version of the Mazda5 MPV. In Japanese, “Kodo” translate to “soul of motion” and the creation of the design was a joint effort between Mazda’s design studios in Japan, US, and Germany.
General Manager of Mazda Motor Corp design division Ikuo Maeda had this to say when asked when the new design language will appear on new models, “this design will lead to the next generation of Mazda design and will lead to other elements.”
Apart from the usual, Mazda also unveiled their plans of wanting to compete with luxury carmakers and has confirmed that they will be improving the quality of their interior levels. “We want to play in the same group as BMW and Audi. On fit and finish we want the same level of quality,” said Derek Jenkins, director of design for Mazda North America.
The unveiling of this new concept Shinari is not a surprise thought, as Mazda as killed off the Nagare concept. This comes as the creator of Nagare, Laurens van den Acker, left the company for Renault last year, and the brand’s European design boss Peter Birtwhistle was recently quoted as saying: “Nagare is done. After the 5, it’s highly unlikely that there will be another Nagare car. Mazda has moved on.” He adds that Mazda top guns in Japan aren’t fully convinced with the Nagare look, which the Brit describes as “particularly difficult to apply to a boxy people carrier shape.”
Furthermore, Birtwhistle told Auto Express that Mazda is aiming to become “more like a Japanese Alfa Romeo, producing cars which are great to drive, but crucially that also have the right premium feel, particularly inside.” Mazda’s global design chief Ikuo Maeda, who led the RX-8 and Mazda2 design teams, is the man in charge.
Mazda has just rolled out a couple of videos that show off the company’s new look. The first features a CG Shinari rolling through crowded city streets, tunnels and the rolling tarmac of what we assume to be the Japanese countryside. The second gives us an idea of what a Kodo-fied Mazda2 and Mazda3 hatch might look like.
In another news related to Mazda, it is said that the company has big plans for the future of its rotary engine. According to GoAuto, the famous Wankel Rotary from Mazda will have its fuel economy improved by a full 50 percent. If the team managed to achieve this, the new powerplant will proudly wear the same “Sky” designation as its traditional four-cylinder counterparts. The site quotes Seita Kanai, Mazda’s director of R&D and program management, as saying that upping the rotary’s fuel economy is essential for the engine’s survival, which is notorious for its awful fuel consumption.
From the sound of things, Mazda is wholly committed to keeping a rotary in its stable. In the report, Kanai says the company is investigating every possible aspect of the engine’s design to look for ways to increase efficiency, down to the very principles behind the design. Even so, he stopped short of saying whether or not the company is toying with an electric turbocharger as part of development.
Even with word that the Japanese automaker is stoking the rotary flames, GoAuto reports the company currently has no plans for a legitimate RX-7 successor. While designers and engineers within the company may be itching to jump onto a new sports car, the company’s decision makers are currently more occupied with shrinking its corporate average fuel economy, like what many other manufacturers are doing currently.
SOURCE via GoAuto.au