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Mazda Zooms into Los Angeles with Shinari Concept and All-New Mazda5 - COMPLETE VIDEO

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Mazda Shinari concept

SEE ALSO: Press Pass Coverage of the 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show

LOS ANGELES - November 17, 2010: When Mazda released its first passenger car, the R360 Coupe in 1960, it quickly gained recognition for its minimalist form and great practicality. For Mazda, it opened a new chapter in the company's history as a builder of passenger cars. For Japanese consumers, the R360 Coupe realized their dreams by making such a desirable car affordable.

Since then, Mazda design has consistently aimed to distinguish itself with its unique personality. At Mazda, design goals go beyond the usual practical focus of industrial design, and instead set out to evoke a sense of excitement and expectation in all who see or drive a Mazda. Underlying this approach is the simple fact that every Mazda designer is fundamentally passionate about cars. As such, their aim is to breathe life into their designs and endow them with true emotional character. The goal is to create designs that communicate Mazda’s design vision with people around the world. It is this design philosophy that has challenged Mazda designers to continue chasing perfection for half a century.

Now, 50 years later, Mazda Design is entering a new phase. By exploring the meaning of ‘the passionate drive,' Mazda Design seeks to discover which vehicle form represents the ultimate Mazda persona. This exploration underpins the vision for the coming new generation of Mazda cars and SUVs.

Design Theme

"KODO - Soul of Motion"
Throughout its history, Mazda Design has explored various forms that depict ‘motion’. In recent years, this has been fused with the graceful beauty found in movement in nature, in wind and the flow of water, to realize a unique design expression for Mazda. This was known as Nagare, or “flow.”

With Nagare as a basis for creativity and exploration, Mazda's approach is now evolving. The underlying design philosophy for the next generation of Mazda cars is adding the power and beauty that one sees in the instantaneous movement of animals or humans. This is the form displayed in the moment motion begins – for example, the instant when a cheetah pounces on its prey, or the moment of a sword strike in the ancient Japanese martial art of kendo. It is this moment where accumulated force is released that contains the most finely-honed balance of strength and streamlined beauty. It is in this instant – which requires maximum concentration – that we feel instantaneous power, speed, a dignified tension, a sophisticated beauty. It is, in its way, highly seductive.

For much more about the Shinari concept SEE: Mazda SHINARI Concept Car: Picking Up Where Furai, Nagare, Ryuga and Hakaza Left Off

Click PLAY to watch the complete Mazda LA Auto Show Press Conference


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The popular MAZDA5 multi-activity vehicle surprises with new Nagare design, exceptional versatility, class-leading performance and outstanding fuel efficiency

Offering unexpected levels of design, functionality, packaging and performance simply not found in any other vehicle sold in North America today, the MAZDA5 is beloved by its owners. With a unique combination of flexible seat arrangements, sliding doors, stylish design, outstanding handling, fuel efficiency and high level of safety, MAZDA5 has made a strong impact in the North American market since it launched as a 2006 model. The MAZDA5 is unique: it doesn’t fit into a mold, and neither do its owners; it can’t be defined by a segment; it suits a family, but thrives in an active lifestyle setting. One could say it’s a vehicle right where everything else isn’t.

In approaching the development of the all-new 2012 MAZDA5, Hideki Matsuoka, MAZDA5 program manager, took the best of the current model and set out to further evolve it. The team aimed to create a new multi-activity vehicle (MAV) that combines superior environmental performance with a new expression of stylish design. Matsuoka’s concept for the new MAZDA5 was to bring to the market a “contemporary smart choice.”

“This concept expresses our goal to build a new family mover for the global market that offers a smart solution to the user’s every need by establishing a balance between diverse functionality and outstanding performance,” said Matsuoka.

Matsuoka and team identified five key values in the development of the 2012 MAZDA5:

• Smart and emotional design

• Rational, easy-to-use functionality

• Developed with the utmost quality

• Refined, dynamic driving performance without compromising environmental performance.

The 2012 MAZDA5 incorporates motifs from Mazda’s Nagare “flow” design language which, inspired by the beauty of nature, presents an elegant look not found in any existing vehicle today. It’s an appealing look that captures the eye upon first glance.

Changes to the 2012 MAZDA5 continue under the skin, too, as the vehicle is powered by a 2.5-liter MZR I4 engine, which also sees use in the MAZDA3, MAZDA6 and CX-7, and can be paired with either a manual or automatic transmission. “We have further evolved Mazda’s trademark Zoom-Zoom driving experience by working to deliver an overall balance of linear feeling and response that creates a unique bond between the driver and car, as well as a stronger sense of trust in the vehicle,” said Matsuoka.

Adopting the expression “Seductive Smartness” as the design concept, the new MAZDA5’s design is aimed to achieve a higher balance of functionality and design, while at the same time giving it a stylish new look that is immediately distinguishable from the box-like designs found on conventional offerings in the market.

Application of the Nagare “flow” design language brings an elegant and stylish new look to the MAZDA5. Mazda has only featured Nagare design on concept cars; this is the first time the design language has been used in a production vehicle. Nagare incorporates the beauty of nature, in particular the forces of wind and water, to lend an intuitive sense of motion to the respective designs. Nagare design, as it applies to the new MAZDA5, not only expresses the essence of dynamic performance and the elegance inspired by the beauty of nature, but also the care taken in developing and manufacturing the MAZDA5 to coexist harmoniously with the environment. In addition, its elegantly flowing design also contributes to aerodynamic performance and a quiet ride.

In styling the new MAZDA5, the design team viewed the overall image as a single bead of water with ripples intentionally left on the surface, such that the body’s lines express the flow of motion. The flow begins at the front grille and passes smoothly over the headlamps, hood and fenders. It then continues over the sides of the body, rear combination lamps and tailgate in a continuous stream. The various lines and motifs appear only to disappear again, creating a repeating theme of change and fusion that guides one’s eyes with its expression of beauty. The overall effect is a look of quality, emotional styling and elegance that intensifies the joy of ownership.

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The five-point front grille shares the unique design of the family face that is found on every Mazda. This makes it immediately distinguishable as a Mazda product, and lends it a dynamic and sporty expression that is true to its DNA. The ‘flowing’ lines of the hood and headlamps gather in the center of the grille to create a powerful sense of motion. And the curved lines that form the mesh pattern adopted for the grille lend the impression that the mesh flows out from the center to the sides, which expresses the essence of Nagare design.

The fog lamp bezels were designed to form a continuous line with the side shoulders and wheel arches to present a wide, dynamic image. This blends beautifully with the gentle S-shaped contour established by the flowing lines off the sides of the front grille and up toward the headlamps. In addition, the mesh pattern surrounding the fog lamps creates a design that flows back toward the rear of the vehicle. The deeply sculpted form of the area around the hood and fog lamps gives the front a firm countenance that emphasizes its aggressive-looking styling. The hood is laid out taller than the previous generation MAZDA5, which presents a greater presence.

The Nagare design motif applied to the sides of the body gracefully continues the dynamic flow of the lines from the headlamps and front fenders, and then carries that flow to the rear fenders and rear combination lamps in beautiful fashion. In the same spirit, the rails for the sliding door are blended skillfully with the character lines.

By connecting the flow from the front and sides through to the rear fenders, rear combination lamps and all the way to the tailgate, MAZDA5’s design creates an exquisite and consistent body line. Adding further appeal and lending the rear end a wider, more stable look, is the powerful line cut by the prominent rear fender shoulders combined with the placement of the rear combination lamps, which are laid out lower than on the previous generation vehicle. The finishing touch is the extended rear quarter and rear window glass panels that completely cover the D-pillar to emphasize the fresh, flowing design.

The headlamps on the new MAZDA5 play a prominent role in the overall design of the vehicle. The headlamp design starts with the stretched look that distinguishes Mazda headlamps; Nagare is introduced in the form of a supple S-shape design. This line blends with those on the front grille, hood and fender arches to heighten the individualistic character of the vehicle. Direct electrodeposition coating is used to enhance the contrast of textures within the lamp housing. The overall effect is that of an original and extremely stylish new design.

The rear combination lamps pick up the flow from the character lines on the sides of the body and the sliding door rails, and continue it on to the tailgate to form a beautiful design. In creating this look, the MAZDA5 blends the trailing end of the sliding door rails smoothly into the rear combination lamps to create a simple, stylish expression.

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Motifs adopted from the Nagare design language can also be found throughout the interior, from the lines above the dials and along the instrument panel to the stitch pattern in the seats and the design of the seat fabric. The overall ambience established is that of a sporty, high-quality cabin.

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The driver-oriented design of the interior positions the peak of the meter hood as the tall point, with all lines flowing from there to comfortably wrap around the driver. The instrument panel flows from the cockpit to the center panel and on to the passenger-side dashboard in a rippling effect that suggests a liquid sensation to the design. The same flow continues on through the lines of the seat pattern, connecting seamlessly with the second and third row seats to create a strong sense of unity throughout the interior.

The cockpit presents a sporty look that hints at what the MAZDA5 will be like to drive, from the look of its twin deep-set gauges to the genuine leather that wraps the steering wheel and gear shift knob. The center panel is fitted with chrome plating and silver-trimmed control knobs that creates a look of top quality, all the while emphasizing the stylish design of the new MAZDA5’s cabin.