Kiy­ora, babe in the city

Mazda’s city-style show car is point­ing the way ahead, write NEIL DOW­ING and PAUL GOVER in Paris

Herald Sun - Motoring - - News -

WHEN the smoke cleared and the white-clad mod­els had done their work, the Ja­panese Kiy­ora con­cept at the Paris Mo­tor Show emerged as a po­ten­tial Mazda1.

Mazda is keen for a new city­fo­cused baby to sit be­low the ex­ist­ing Mazda2 and com­pany in­sid­ers are hint­ing the Kiy­ora could be the start of the project.

The show car is al­ready fit­ted with one of Mazda’s near-fu­ture en­gines, a 1.3-litre di­rect-in­jec­tion petrol pow­er­plant, and rolls on a me­chan­i­cal pack­age taken from the Mazda2.

But it could also show where Mazda is go­ing with other mod­els, in­clud­ing the next re­place­ment for the mid-sized Mazda6, and chief de­signer Lau­rens Van Den Acker says the Kiy­ora is a ‘‘plat­form for the fu­ture’’.

‘‘It is ev­ery­thing we want in a ve­hi­cle — light­weight, fuel- ef­fi­cient, low emis­sions, safe and stylish,’’ he says.

‘‘This is not a car out of which we will take bits and pieces and put them in a wagon, an SUV or a big car. This is a work­ing model for the fu­ture.’’

Van Den Acker says the de­sign can be ex­panded for a big­ger sedan or an SUV us­ing the same styling prin­ci­ples.

‘‘We have to be care­ful to main­tain the Mazda fam­ily iden­tity yet en­sure each model has its own dis­tinc­tion,’’ he says.

The Kiy­ora has some in­no­va­tive fea­tures, the most no­tice­able be­ing rear seats made only of a stretchy ma­te­rial strung be­tween the C-pil­lars to cre­ate a ham­mock.

The lam­i­nated ny­lon is comfortable and strong enough to sup­port the passenger, yet is ex­tremely light.

Light show: the Mazda Kiy­ora con­cept car on dis­play in Paris.

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