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Mazda keeps the faith in Kodo

Days of future past: The Mazda Shinari concept from 2010 ushered in a new design language for the brand seen on models from the Mazda2 to the CX-5 SUV.

Kodo design philosophy to remain for the time being, will show up on next-gen CX-9

Mazda logo26 Aug 2014

By TIM NICHOLSON

MAZDA will stick with its Kodo design language for the foreseeable future, with the next-generation MX-5 roadster and CX-9 SUV the next models to feature the company’s current look.

The Japanese brand’s now familiar design aesthetic was first seen on the Shinari concept from the 2010 Milan motor show, before making its debut in production form on the CX-5 SUV in 2012 and the Mazda6 mid-sizer later that year.

The current-generation Mazda3 and all-new Mazda2, which will roll into Australian dealerships in November this year, are also products of the Kodo design language.

Speaking with GoAuto at the Mazda2 launch in Japan last week, the compact hatch’s chief designer Ryo Yanagisawa said Kodo was here to stay.

“We have no plan to change from Kodo design right now,” he said. “For the moment, I think we are going to continue to apply Kodo design.

“It is not about the shape or form. Kodo design is about the beauty of living creatures incorporated into the vehicle. That way we want to give this living spirited feeling to the vehicle design, that is what Kodo design is all about,” Yanagisawa-San said.

“That is kind of a philosophy, so even if the shapes or forms change, that philosophy itself won't change.”

Yanagisawa-San gave little away about the design of the second-generation CX-9 family-sized SUV, due within the next 18 months, but did confirm that it too would carry Kodo lines.

“I am not able to talk about the next CX-9 today, sorry,” he said. “But the current model, it is just change of face. In the next model I am sure the full body will express the Kodo design. It's going to be a more upscale feeling, I guess.”

As GoAuto reported earlier this month, Mazda Australia managing director Martin Benders described the design of the new-generation MX-5 roadster, due to be revealed in the next week, as “very nice” and “sort of an evolved Kodo”.

“It's the biggest change in proportions and shape over the three generations,” he said at the time. The as-yet unconfirmed Mazda2-based crossover, dubbed CX-3 in some media reports, is also a likely candidate to feature Kodo styling.

GoAuto also reported last week that the upcoming facelift for the BT-50 would not include full Kodo design, and instead would re-shape the workhorse with a more rugged look.

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