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The ugly duckling/swan theme is an often used cliche in romantic comedies and other low-grade forms of entertainment, but we were caught of guard when Mazda ditched their Nagare design language and blossomed into a beautiful creature with the Shinari concept.
Nagare, if you remember, is the current design theme for Mazda that looks a lot like a mutated sea creature. The Shinari, on the other had, and the accompanying Kodo design language, looks like something from an expensive European manufacturer that costs many multiples of what a Mazda3 would.
The four-door coupe Shinari, seen in the video, is a promising start to a new era of design in Mazda, and we can’t wait to see how it will extend to its regular lineup
Hit the jump to see the official video
With new cars getting heavier as the years go on, Mazda is bucking this trend for their next MX-5, aiming to cut the car’s weight from its current 2500 lbs to 2200 lbs, just slightly heavier than the original 1990 Miata’s weight.
Mazda executives felt that the current car is straying too far from the essence of the original Miata, and the weight reduction is part of a plan to completely overhaul the upcoming MX-5. Engines will also get smaller, with Mazda’s ultra-efficient SKY-G four cylinder motors appearing in 1.6L and 1.8L configurations, smaller than the current 2.0L MZR engine. Most significant is the addition of a dual-clutch gearbox alongside a 6-speed manual gearbox. The twin-clutch unit will help increase efficiency and performance while appealing to the MX-5′s slightly older demographic.
More controversially, Mazda’s Nagare styling is slated to make an appearance, despite an unpopular reception on various concept cars and the upcoming Mazda5 minivan.
All aboard the speculation train! The rumors surrounding Mazda’s new RX-7 don’t stop coming, and with the demise of the RX-8, its a safe bet that Mazda will follow up their quirky four-door sports car with something more conventional.
Mazda is allegedly targeting the VW Scirocco as a rival for the new car, to be given the dubious “RX-9″ moniker. Reports say that a rotary in conjunction with an “electric turbocharger” (we hope they mean some kind of range extender and not the kind you buy on Ebay) should cure the rotary’s chief issues; low torque and loqw fuel economy.
Aesthetics-wise, the car is said to take some cues from the questionable “Nagare” design language, even though Mazda officially canned it.
If this is the case, we might be better off waiting for the all-new MX-5 and keeping our fingers crossed.
Mazda appears to be on the cusp of banishing their former “Nagare” design language to the junk heap. Nagare was responsible for the controversial front fascias on the upcoming 2011 Mazda5, the current MX-5 and the Mazda3. However, Mazda executives were apparently unhappy with the execution of the styling and demanded a change.
Unfortunately no details on the new styling have been announced, but if Mazda really wants to be the “Japanese Alfa Romeo“, they’ll need to figure out a styling direction quickly, that can also compete with the Italian firm’s world class designs.
Mazda‘s swoopy, sometimes controversial “Nagare” styling has been jettisoned after a few short years as the pre-eminent design language for the Hiroshima, Japan-based car company.
Nagare, with its flowing lines and inelegant front-end treatments, managed to find a home on the next-generation Mazda5, the current Mazda3 and the facelifted Mazda MX-5. The Nagare styling was often controversial, and according to a report in AutoExpress, company management was underwhelmed with the results, and according to Peter Birtwhistle, head of design for Mazda Europe, the company is hoping to be “more like a Japanese Alfa Romeo, producing cars which are great to drive, but crucially that also have the right premium feel, particularly inside.”
With a Mazda5 and a first-generation Miata among the Autoguide staff vehicles, we can’t say we’re too upset about the lack of Nagare cues in future Mazdas, as long as their engineering department doesn’t get turfed along with the stylists.
[Source: Auto Express]