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October 24, 2007

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Mazda Taiki - a journey that explores the future of Mazda design

Tokyo - Since the 2002 launch of the Mazda Atenza (Mazda6 in export markets) as the first in a new generation of models, Mazda design has been earning the praise of customers, car specialists and designers around the world. Mazda concept car designs have firmly established a global reputation for eye-catching, Zoom-Zoom appeal - from the Mazda Senku concept car introduced at the 2005 Tokyo Motor Show, which went on to win the Grand Prix du Plus Beau Concept Car at the 21st Festival Automobile International in 2006 in Paris, to the sports car study, Mazda Kabura, winner of the 2006 Detroit Motor Show’s Aesthetic and Innovation Award.

Building on this solid foundation while still further advancing the design of Mazda cars and instilling an even sportier and more athletic look, the design team should develop a new form of expression that evokes a perception of motion, even when the car is standing still. This gave birth to the theme of “flow” design, as based on the Japanese word “Nagare”, which means “flow” or “the embodiment of movement”.

The first concept car created using this new approach was the Mazda Nagare, which US-based design team Chief Designer Franz von Holzhausen sees as a pure reflection of the flow design approach.

 Mazda Ryuga followed closely after from Mazda’s Hiroshima Design Center, expressing the beauty of motion found in nature, as well as motion controlled by man. Chief Designer Yasushi Nakamuta explains, “The challenge was to incorporate elegant and refined design treatments that express Japanese concepts of mysterious beauty and intelligence within a dynamic body shape.”

Mazda’s European Design Center presented us with the Mazda Hakaze design concept aimed not only to suggest future possibilities for a compact crossover vehicle from Mazda, but also to offer a concept that fully considers practical application. Chief Designer Peter Birtwhistle sought to express the sensation of the wind blowing across the sand dunes, both in the textures used for the sides of the body, and within the interior as well. And true to this, repeated patterns across the exterior and interior, which evoke images of sand dunes, effectively express flow and motion.

Visitors to the 2007 Tokyo Motor Show will take delight in the Mazda Taiki, the fourth concept car in the series. Created by the Yokohama Design Center team led by Chief Designer, Yamada Atsuhiko, the Mazda Taiki represents a possible direction for design and technology to support the future of Mazda’s “Sustainable Zoom-Zoom” efforts. Innovative styling, instantly transporting the viewer's senses into the future, doesn’t stop merely at making a design statement. Rather, it additionally encompasses highly functional beauty, featuring outstanding aerodynamic performance. Driving pleasure in a work-of-art cockpit achieves the right balance between Zoom-Zoom driving pleasure and environmentally responsible performance. The Mazda Taiki clearly offers an iconic look at the Mazda sports car of the future.

Mazda Taiki Concept - aimed at helping create a sustainable society

Mazda Taiki reflects one possible direction for a future generation of Mazda sports cars aimed at helping create a sustainable society. The fourth concept car in the Nagare design series, Mazda Taiki, further evolves the “flow” theme to establish a breathtaking presence that clearly defines its Nagare credentials, and visually expresses the atmosphere - called taiki in Japanese - that wraps the Earth in its protective mantle. Centering around the performance rotary engine sports packaging that is synonymous with the Mazda name, technologies introduced for the Mazda Taiki include the next-generation RENESIS (rotary engine 16X, refer to book separate volume for details), which sets new standards for environmental and driving performance, a front-engine rear-wheel-drive layout, unique 2-seat configuration, and others which convey an image of lightness. The effect integrates perfectly the design theme to realize unbeatable aerodynamic performance.

Photos: Mazda

(Oct 24, 2007)

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