Even though I own a red car, in most cases I don’t like the color. It’s loud, hides the taillight design, and generally makes it seem as if the car is trying to compensate for something, whether it’s speed or exoticness. Also, as a BASF chemical engineer once told me, there the pigment itself is particularly sensitive to ultraviolet light, which is why most older red cars end up fading into pink. There are exceptions of course, and on the proper car red can look stunning. Mazda has adopted Soul Red as its trademark color and despite everything I wrote above, I kind of dig it.
That’s because Soul Red is not simply the red in the Crayola 8-pack. It’s deep and has a crystal sheen that reflects hints of blue when under the right light. In fact, from Ceramic to Reflex Blue, Mazda has somehow managed to invent new takes on the traditional automotive palette. That’s not easy to do, especially when these colors have been around for ages.
Of course, the fact that we have red Japanese cars at all is all thanks to Soichiro Honda.