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First Look: 2014 Mazda3

Some big news out of a small package.

by on Jun.26, 2013

The 2014 Mazda3 is the maker's newest model to use Skyactive technology and the Kodo design language.

It might not come as a complete surprise considering the number of recent leaks emerging from inside Mazda, but the first official images of the new Mazda3 nonetheless live up to expectations as the maker rolls out its latest Skyacti model.

The 2014 Mazda3 also becomes the latest in the Japanese maker’s line-up to adopt the new Kodo, or Soul of Motion, design language, following such recent entries as the Mazda6 sedan and CX-5 crossover. That includes the oversized grille – which conceals wind-cheating grille shutters — headlamps that flow back over the front fenders, and subtle sculpting of the side panels. The profile gives the hatchback an almost coupe-like curvaceousness.

Maintain Your Love Affair with the Automobile!

The 2014 Mazda3 adopts a 2.4-inch longer wheelbase than the outgoing model but it’s actually two inches shorter, nose-to-tail.  Meanwhile, those active grille shutters help deliver a claimed best-in-class drag coefficient of just 0.255.

The new hatchback reportedly weighs in about 200 pounds lighter than the old model, in part due to a focus on so-called lightweighting – one of the key elements in the maker’s Skyactiv strategy.  Nonetheless, by switching to high- and ultra-high-strength steel in key locations the new model also is 30% stiffer, Mazda notes.


First Look: Mazda Minagi

Newest Mazda fantasy in chrome coming to Geneva.

by on Jan.19, 2011

Mazda introduces its new "Kodo" design language with the Minagi concept CUV.

Mazda has a tradition of revealing some undulating automotive designs at major auto shows.  And the wave-like designs of show cars like the popular Nagare have clearly influenced what we now see in production from the Hiroshima-based maker.

Past prototypes have tended to focus on sports car or sporty coupe body styles, so perhaps it’s a telling hint that the next big Mazda fantasy in chrome will come in the form of a slick crossover.

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The sleek Mazda Minagi – shown here in an official rendering — will take its formal bow at the upcoming Geneva Motor Show.  The concept CUV evolves to reflect what Mazda calls its new “Kodo” design theme, Japanese for “soul of motion,” it suggests.

It may have a new name, but the images suggest an evolution, rather than revolution, with Minagi revealing some of the flowing, wind-in-the-sand shapes of Nagare and its past brethren.  But the overall look is a little simpler and less strained.