Mazda’s de­sign vi­sion

Vi­sion Coupe and Rx-vi­sion con­cepts will act as de­sign tem­plate for new Maz­das

Autocar - - THIS WEEK - RACHEL BURGESS AND RICHARD BREMNER

Four-door GT shows the way

The Vi­sion Coupe four-door grand tourer con­cept re­vealed at Tokyo and the pre­vi­ously seen Rx-vi­sion sports car con­cept will be the “two book­ends” for the de­sign of the next gen­er­a­tion of Mazda mod­els, ac­cord­ing to Euro­pean de­sign chief Kevin Rice.

He said that while the Rxvi­sion showed “the ul­ti­mate sen­su­al­ity” in de­sign, the Vi­sion Coupe ad­dressed the other end of the spec­trum with the “ul­ti­mate el­e­gance”.

With the re­cently launched Mazda MX-5 RF com­plet­ing the cur­rent Mazda range, all of its forth­com­ing mod­els will fall some­where be­tween these two con­cepts in terms of de­sign ethos.

Mazda’s over­all head of de­sign Ikuo Maeda added that he wants to ap­ply the same long bon­net and short tail sil­hou­ette seen on these con­cepts to the en­tire line-up. That’s de­spite all of the range, apart from the MX-5, us­ing front- or four-wheel drive, which tra­di­tion­ally is dif­fi­cult to fit into such pro­por­tions.

How­ever, this is more eas­ily achieved with the adop­tion of Mazda’s lat­est plat­form. Also, the long ex­haust man­i­folds of the car maker’s Sky­ac­tiv en­gines push the front axle line for­ward, mak­ing it eas­ier to achieve this look for mod­els with trans­verse units.

The re­sult will be very dis­tinc­tive pro­por­tions, for Mazda’s smaller mod­els in par­tic­u­lar.

There is no ex­pec­ta­tion that ei­ther the Vi­sion Coupe or the Rx-vi­sion will make pro­duc­tion, how­ever well re­ceived they have been. How­ever, a source said that if one were to make pro­duc­tion, the Rx-vi­sion would be most likely.

The big bar­rier, as is of­ten the case for car mak­ers want­ing to do sim­i­lar, is the busi­ness case for such a car.

Mazda Europe boss Jeff Guy­ton said: “Ev­ery­one would love to see a ro­taryengined sports car [like the Rx-vi­sion]. But we have no con­crete plans to do it at the mo­ment. It is re­ally hard to jus­tify the busi­ness case for sports cars.”

Vi­sion Coupe’s long bon­net and short tail will be a Mazda sta­ple

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