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