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Tokyo show: Mazda expands design parameters

Borderlands: All new-generation Mazda vehicles will fall between a styling spectrum outlined by the just-revealed deluxe Vision Coupe concept (left) and 2015’s racy RX-Vision concept (below).

Mazda design strategy sees boundaries open up for next-generation cars

Mazda logo26 Oct 2017

By TUNG NGUYEN in Tokyo

MAZDA has moved to a “second stage” of its design strategy and freed up its designers to build more differentiation between models in future generations, according to Mazda Motor Corporation (MMC) chief designer Yasutake Tsuchida.

Speaking to Australian journalists at the reveal of the Kai concept at the Tokyo motor show this week, Mr Tsuchida said the Mazda3-previewing hatchback leans towards a sportier side aesthetically, while other future models might take a somewhat different direction.

He said there will still be restrictions, with the design team working between the limits set by the muscular 2015 RX-Vision concept and the more premium Vision Coupe, the latter unveiled alongside the Kai in Tokyo this week and pointing to the next-generation Mazda6.

But the company is now taking a new design direction after current-generation vehicles were deliberately kept similar by MMC head of design and brand style Ikuo Maeda, who Mr Tsuchida said “wanted to keep a very tight control on the different models”.

“So you saw Mazda2 and Mazda3 and they are pretty similar in terms of design,” Mr Tsuchida said, pointing to areas such sculpted flanks, narrow headlights and the brand’s shield-shaped grille.

“The reason is clear, we wanted to build our brand.

“And this is all part of the strategy. Build the brand, which means we want to permeate the Kodo idea into the market, and now that we have a certain degree of awareness, we move onto the second stage of the strategy, which means this (next) generation of cars will have a slightly broader scope for its expression.

“So this is going to be the full range, the spectrum, that you can expect out of this next-generation design language.”

Mr Tsuchida said the RX-Vision concept was at “one end of the spectrum in the design language” – what Mazda calls “allure” – while the Vision Coupe was “at the other end” – described as “premium”.

“When we talked about hatchback and Kai concept, a hatchback naturally lends itself more to the sporty side, so we expressed our design more towards the allure side,” he said.

“You have all this space for all the different vehicles, so you can look forward to many different things in the new generations in the future.”

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