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Mazda Ryuga rips open design envelope

New direction: The Ryuga reveals a new take on the future.

Mazda goes gullwing with latest show concept

13 Dec 2006

THE second instalment of Mazda’s showcar frenzy has emerged ahead of its global debut at the 2007 North American International Auto Show in Detroit on January 8.

If you thought the Nagare concept that debuted at the Los Angeles show in late November was out-there, then the Ryuga pushes the Japanese company’s design envelope further still.

Like the Nagare, the Ryuga reveals an all-new styling direction for Mazda, which will present at least two more futuristic concepts at the Geneva show in March and the Tokyo motor show in October.

To be presented alongside a petrol-electric version of Mazda’s Tribute SUV, dubbed the Tribute Hybrid Electric Vehicle, the Ryuga is the latest representation of what Mazda vehicle design may look like by around 2020.

Revealed only in sketch guise ahead of its Detroit debut, Ryuga features gullwing doors, massively pumped wheelarches like the RX-8, obligatory large wheels and a huge, stylised trapezoidal Mazda grille.

While Nagare is Japanese for "flow", Ryuga means "gracious flow".

Described as the next generation of Mazda’s future styling concept, Mazda says Ryuga "will reflect a higher level of sophistication achieved through the use of rich fabrics, engineered fits and hidden details.

According to Mazda’s global design director, Laurens van den Acker: “Ryuga is Zoom-Zoom defined. It combines vibrance, confidence, fun and youth all in one ingenious package." Meanwhile, the 2008 Tribute HEV, Mazda’s first "advanced-technology vehicle dedicated to clean air", will claim to be one of the cleanest vehicles on the road when it becomes available in the US later this year.

The Tribute HEV offers a combined power output of 116kW from its petrol engine and electric motor, and meets California’s strict Super Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle (SULEVII) and Advanced Technology Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle (AT-PZEV) standards.

Both the Ryuga and the Tribute HEV will be exhibited in Detroit alongside the CX-7 SUV, which was launched in Australia last month, and the seven-seater CX-9, which debuted globally at the New York show in April and goes on sale here in early 2008.

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