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First Look: Mazda Minagi

The “soul of motion” rolls into Geneva.

by on Mar.02, 2011

Mazda will put its new Kodo design language into production when a version of the new Minagi reaches market next year.

Mazda is a manufacturer that has often gone its very own way, from its early rotary engines to the distinctive design of the new Mazda5.

That newly updated microvan brings to the street what the maker dubbed its Nagare design language.  Yet even as those flowing forms migrate to the manufacturing process, Mazda has already moved on – as it demonstrates at the Geneva Motor Show, with the unveiling of its new Minagi concept crossover vehicle.

The Mazda Minagi goes a step beyond the Shinari show car unveiled late last year, in the process introducing an all-new design language the Japanese maker dubbed Kodo, or “the soul of motion.”

The Minagi, suggested Mazda CEO Takashi Yamanouchi, “captures the energy of the moment.”

With its cabin notably pressed rearward, there’s a muscular, cat-like quality to the Minagi, which Mazda appropriately compares to a cheetah.”


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.


First Look: Mazda Shinari Concept

Japanese maker’s latest bleeding edge design statement.

by on Nov.19, 2010

A subtle shift in direction with Mazda's latest styling exercise, the new Shinari Concept.

Anyone who has followed Japanese automaker Mazda for more than a few months knows it has made a name for itself by pushing the envelope, both with technology like the rotary engine but also with intriguing design statements.

Like the Shinari, the latest in a series of distinctive fantasies in chrome that have lent some of their more distinctive design cues to more mainstream production cars, such as the latest Mazda3 and Mazda6 models.

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As with past models using what Mazda has dubbed the Nagare design language, the latest entry into the concept catalogue boasts organically flowing lines that suggest the way the wind shapes desert sand.  But the Shinari, developed by design chief Ikuo Maeda, is a little less fanciful, if nonetheless a stretch using a new design theme Maeda calls Kodo.