Mazda has revealed some teasers for two concepts that will headline its Tokyo Motor Show display later this month. One is almost certainly the next-generation Mazda Axela (known stateside as the 3). The more far-out one is a sedan concept the Hiroshima carmaker says will establish the next generation of Mazda design. What’s more interesting though is that the car appears to have rear-wheel-drive proportions.
Mazda says the latter will “define the next generation of Mazda design, resulting in a more profound expression of the globally-acclaimed Kodo design language.” We at JNC are of the opinion that the Kodo philosophy, which means “soul of motion” according to Mazda, has sculpted some of the most beautiful sheetmetal of modern times. It will be interesting to see what the next progression of that entails.
Mazda is also showing a Mazda MX5 RF with hand operated controls. This is actually not an RF with a manually lowered top as we originally thought, but a version for disabled drivers without the use of their legs.
Going back to the sedan concept for a bit, it seems to exhibit the an long hood that drops off dramatically just fore of the with the front wheels. The result is a short overhang and a long the section between the leading cutline of the front doors and the front axle. A short deck is common on modern design, but the flatness and lins carrying over from the front appear to put the emphasis on a classic long hood, short deck FR proportions.
More than any other automaker right now, the scrappy firm from Hiroshima is consistently churning out great design (not to mention incredible driving dynamics, ergonomics, etc.). Given the knockout beauty of the RX-Vision from the last Tokyo Motor Show, it will be interesting to see how the Mazda sports sedan concept builds. Stay tuned. Our Tokyo Motor Show coverage begins October 25.
*Will not be rear-wheel drive.
whatever it will be – it already Looks more promising compared to what all the other car makers showed so far.
Great to see Mazda is keeping the pace
Think you’ve got the wrong end of the stick with the “hand-operated controls” RF, Ben. It’s not an RF with a manual hardtop, it’s an RF designed for people with physical disabilities, with some of its functions operated by a hand control rather than pedals.
Oops. Well I’ll edit that, then. Thanks!
Though we presently bias our preference of automobile based on things like whether it has front or rear drive; level of power; type of engine; reliability; etc. In the future, all automakers may have EVs that have such similar characteristics to one another other (ie: smooth, reliable and powerful motors at each wheel that allow the driver to select front or rear power bias) that the difference between one brand and its competitor may simply come down to it’s style, design and innovation. I’m glad to see companies like Mazda that are willing to push the design envelop a bit and not simply following the crowd. I look forward to seeing their final products.
I agree, 100% FR proportions on that concept. Maybe another MX-5 derived four-seater, but with a piston engine instead of the RX-8’s rotary? The 3-series market is big and lucrative, and four door ‘coupes’ have become common lately. I always thought the RX-8 was a great bit of platform sharing, quite aside from its engine.
In my deepest of dreams, the sports sedan teaser image Mazda released will be a 3-rotor SCHCCI skyactiv-R full hybrid w/electric supercharger and rotary range extender. Call it the Rx10. Follow this up with an enthusiast coupe’ version that ditches the range extender, 1 rotor and swaps the full hybrid battery for a supercapacitor (to drive the electric supercharger). For good measure twin-charge it by adding a turbo for the mid-high end while the e-supercharger provides lagless low end boost. The cap would be recharged via Mazda’s i-ELOOP regen brake setup. Call that model the Rx9, and let the pant-crapping commence. ..That’s my fantasy Mazda rotary revival reveal.