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First look: Mazda Taiki set to debut at Tokyo

Stunning: Taiki is said to point the way to Mazda's design direction for future front-engined sportscars.

Concept car carries Mazda's next-generation rotary engine

2 Oct 2007

MAZDA has revealed the much-anticipated fourth car in its series of “flow” concepts ahead of this month’s Tokyo motor show – a stunning two-seater that points to the design of its future front-engine, rear-drive sportscars, and which carries underneath its bonnet the company’s next-generation rotary engine.

To be shown alongside the all-new Mazda6 (seen in Luxury Sports specification for the first time) and a Premacy petrol-hydrogen hybrid car, the new two-door concept is known as Taiki and “continues the evolution” of the Nagare design theme that made its world debut at the Los Angles motor show last November.

The Nagare was followed by the wild Ryuga gullwing concept at the Detroit auto show in January and the Hakaze concept at the Geneva show in March.

Deriving its Japanese name from the atmosphere, the Taiki is said to be a visual expression of “the flow of air” and was apparently inspired by the image of a pair of “Hagoromo” – “the flowing robes that enable a celestial maiden to fly in Japanese legend” – floating down from the sky.

“The basic proportions begin with the stretched coupe form of a front-engine rear-wheel-drive layout, the short overhangs, and the liberating feel of an all-glass canopy,” said Mazda in a statement released this afternoon.

22 center imageLeft: Taiki concept and Mazda6.

The next-generation Renesis rotary engine will have a longer stroke and larger displacement of 1600cc “aimed to raise thermal efficiency and boost torque at all engine speeds”. It also has direct fuel injection and a lightweight aluminium side housing.

Meanwhile, the Luxury Sports variant of the Mazda6 will headline the new-generation mid-size range when it arrives in Australia around May next year.

Exterior features include a larger and more aggressive front bumper and airdam, a sportier grille, side skirts, larger rear bumper and a rear spoiler.

Japanese-spec vehicles will also have a “rear vehicle monitoring” (RVM) system – claimed to be a first for a Japanese vehicle – which uses radar sensors in the left and right rear corners of the body to detect a vehicle approaching from the rear or in the blind spot behind the B-pillars. The system is active when travelling at 60km/h or faster.

Other technology onboard includes a “CF-Net” (Cross Functional-Network) multi-control system that “provides integrated control of audio, climate control and other systems through simple, smooth operation that minimizes movement of the driver’s line of sight”.

The other main attraction on Mazda’s Tokyo stand will be the Premacy Hydrogen RE Hybrid car, which is equipped with a new transversely mounted hydrogen rotary engine that uses a hydrogen and petrol dual-fuel system.

Compared with the RX-8 Hydrogen RE, the new Premacy Hydrogen RE Hybrid yields 40 per cent better output, resulting in “enhanced acceleration performance and an extended hydrogen-fuelled range of about 200km, or twice that of the RX-8 Hydrogen RE”. Seating capacity is also increased to give accommodation for five adults, along with greater luggage space.

According to Mazda, the hydrogen rotary engine has changed from a longitudinal to a transverse layout and its intake/exhaust resistance and combustion efficiency were improved to yield high output across a wide range of engine speeds.

The company said leasing of the vehicle is planned to commence next year.

This year’s 40th Tokyo motor show opens on October 24.

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