2010 Mazda Shinari Concept

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W XYZ

 

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(from Mazda Press Release)  50 years of passion

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 on 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 products.

Design Heritage - A passion for ‘motion’

The movement that began with the R360 Coupe and continued through the 1970s represents Mazda Design's formative years, during which time Mazda began to establish a unique design language. Representative works from this era include the futuristic styling of the Cosmo Sports 110S and the clean, simple lines of the original RX-7; lines that were designed to highlight the dynamic performance of the rotary engine that powered it . As these efforts took shape a uniquely sporty character evolved that became synonymous with the Mazda brand.

Approaching the second half of the 1980s, Mazda gained an even stronger desire to create cars with an almost living emotion. This desire developed into a fusion of functionality and beauty which resulted in the kind of delicately controlled surfaces and emotional form that gave birth to cars like the Mazda MX-5 (Mazda Roadster in Japan). The MX-5 was to redefine the meaning of the lightweight sports car and was to become the embodiment of pure driving pleasure around the world. This message continued with the 3rd generation Mazda RX-7 (Enfini RX-7 in Japan), which further enhanced the appeal of a rotary engine sports car.

‘Motion’ in design turned heads around the world

As the year 2000 arrived, Mazda design focused on athletic and sporty ‘motion’ as a design theme for the new millenium. This design theme reflected the evolving design language while supporting the newly introduced “Zoom-Zoom” brand message. Mazda's designers aimed to excite Mazda owners and observers. It was a design language intended to encourage people to literally fall in love with Mazda cars and the notion of driving pleasure. The first design of this period was the Mazda6 (Mazda Atenza in Japan), followed by the Mazda RX-8 and other models. The strategy was well received and these cars won a variety of prestigious automotive awards, as well as earning high acclaim.

This design theme of athletic and sporty ‘motion’ continued with the development of the “Nagare” (“Flow” in Japanese) design philosophy. The Nagare design language reflected the beauty of nature as expressed by natural movement. By cleverly incorporating character lines inspired by nature into vehicle forms – such as wind, water, sand dunes, lava flows and other naturally moving elements – Mazda design pushed its exploration of the beauty of natural ‘motion’ to exciting new levels. Under the “Nagare” design theme, Mazda introduced seven concept cars and ultimately saw the new Mazda5 put this theme into production reality.

Mazda SHINARI – Fast and strong motion that strikes the heart

The Mazda SHINARI is a pure design concept model of a four-door, four-seater sports coupe which perfectly expresses the ‘KODO – Soul of Motion’ design theme in a graceful and carefree form.

The Japanese word shinari describes the powerful yet supple appearance of great resilient force when objects of high tensile strength, such as steel or bamboo, are twisted or bent. It also refers to the appearance of a person or animal as it flexibly transforms its body to generate a fast movement. Within this movement, Mazda designers discovered the potential to realize ‘KODO – Soul of Motion’.

One glance at SHINARI stirs the emotions. Its form expresses the powerful movement of a lean body with highly developed muscles, supple but at the same time filled with tension. Mazda’s desire is to reach car lovers’ hearts and go beyond the notion of rational logic. This form purely embodies that desire.

Designer’s challenge

Yasushi Nakamuta, the chief designer who led the design of the third generation Mazda MX-5, was the first to begin the ideation of the SHINARI concept: “The challenge for us was to create an innovative new expression for energetic and powerful movement; something that we had never attempted before. We began by developing the design around the image of a predator, as it strikes at its prey, or the stabbing movement in kendo, Japanese fencing, to express the instant where accumulated force is released.

Translating this initial moment of ‘instantaneous movement’ being pursued by Mazda design into the SHINARI concept car presented various challenges to both the designers and the modelers working on the project. The process involved a series of activities that saw the team draw inspiration from a variety of places. This included each team member creating sketches and freely sculpting models from clay to represent their own perceptions of ‘KODO – Soul of Motion’. It then continued with the exploration of the functional beauty seen in traditional Japanese crafts and the motion witnessed in Japan’s ancient martial arts.

As the team continued this exploratory process, Nakamuta focused on a force so powerful that it can bend a strong section of steel plate. The Mazda SHINARI design adds subtle twists and tension to create forms that express agile and powerful movement, resulting in the expression of ‘KODO – Soul of Motion’.

Exterior – unbridled expression of agile movement

With an image of strength emanating across every panel and component, the Mazda SHINARI looks ready to leap at any second. The strong backbone running through the body, the sudden release of pent-up energy, and the interplay of beautiful, supple movements – this form is the expression of all of these elements.

The appearance of the A-pillar, which tapers towards the rear of the body, the shape of the cabin, the front fender; these and SHINARI's other elements combine to create proportions that suggest the instantaneous release of energy to propel the car forward.

The distinctive front fenders represent the further evolution of the prominent fenders introduced in the RX-8. They emphasize the front wheels and accentuate the dynamic movement expressed in the side of the body, in a style that is both sporty and elegant. Character lines flow rearward from the front fenders and meet those traveling forward from the rear fenders in a multi-layered effect. This fusion creates an appearance that suggests a forceful sense of tension with a graceful beauty.

All of SHINARI's body surfaces appear as if constantly undergoing transformation. There is no static shape to be found, as if the car is in perpetual motion. For instance the subtle control of the angle of the upper surface of the side sill, from the front to the rear, results in a form that suggests a flash of speed along the body of the car.

The three-dimensional sculpting of the front grille proudly emphasizes the Mazda lineage. A powerful line of movement originates at the grille and continues through the bonnet, fender, front lamp modules and bumper. In particular the floating bar – which links the grille with the headlights – is a three-dimensional expression of speed, an accent that represents a new signature element for Mazda. For the headlights, Mazda's designers have created a headlamp structure with no outer lens, exposing the deep-set lights and suggesting the eyes of a wild animal about to pounce on its prey.

Aerodynamic performance was a major priority for SHINARI, and the centre of the lower sections – on both the front and rear bumpers – are designed to optimize the flow of air along the underbody of the car. The flared line that connects the front bumper with the side sills and rear bumper, fulfils a similar role and streamlines the flow of air along the body, while further contributing to the aerodynamic performance of the car.

The outer mirror, wheels and tailpipes accentuate the sense of agility and lightness and convey a hand-made feel with a human touch which contributes to the impression of superior, premium quality.

For the body colour a luminous metallic blue has been chosen to convey an image of hard metal. The strong yet elaborate brilliance of the highlights combines with the clearly defined contrast of the shadows to create a balance between the sharp, three-dimensional form and the appearance of surfaces bending and transforming; a balance which was a design objective. The fierce, bright flash of the forged steel of a Japanese sword is combined with wisdom and sensuality to express superlative quality.

Interior – Exploring a new approach of oneness between car and driver

When creating the SHINARI concept interior Mazda's objective was to design a distinctive premium cockpit that incorporates its interior DNA. While the exterior design can be appreciated through motion, the interior, meanwhile, is experienced in a static, seated position. A commitment to essential mechanical function and excellent ergonomics has created a driver focused interior that embodies the ‘ultimate athletic space’ while expressing a sense of speed inside the vehicle.

Entering the vehicle your eye is immediately drawn to the driver focused cockpit which surrounds the driver. Its angle and surface movement sets the tone for the whole of the interior. The highlight of interior is a surfacing between the upper and the lower instrument panel which is contrasted by crisp surface edges and precision mechanical details. Interior craftsmanship is characterized by the use of bright trim work integrated along the cockpit’s perimeter and accentuating the sensation of speed. An authentic application of materials including machined aluminum, soft natural leathers and the precision design of instrumentation and controls, gives the interior an alluring quality that exceeds expectations.

Craftsmanship meets total car control

Mazda design wanted to re-define the proximity of the driver to the instrumentation and controls by establishing intuitive ‘reach zones’; what Mazda calls ‘dedicated driving ergonomics’. All instrumentation and controls have been designed and positioned to enhance the driving experience. By separating the instrument panel into two individual zones, the driver cockpit is isolated from the rest of the interior and allows the driver to focus on the task of driving. To reinforce the message of driver orientation, the design of the primary and secondary instruments echo the main cockpit shape, to provide a clean uncluttered view from the driver’s seat. Seated behind a thick-rimmed, three-spoke steering wheel the driver sits within a uniquely contoured seat, providing maximum comfort and support.

The principle of ‘dedicated driving ergonomics’ is further reflected in the car’s next generation Human Machine Interface (HMI). The availability of smaller electronic components has allowed SHINARI’s designers to create a floating HMI three-dimensional display; a design element that represents the very latest HMI technology . The system offers three distinct modes: ‘Business, Pleasure and Sport’.
The Business-mode enables the driver to stay connected to his work day tasks. In Pleasure-mode, focus is on comfort and entertainment, allowing the driver to tailor the interior mood creating a relaxed atmosphere. In Sport-mode the driving set-up is changed; the paddle shifter is activated, suspension settings are tuned for performance driving, and controls are simplified allowing the driver to focus solely on the driving experience.

The main dashboard surfaces are positioned low, and away from the occupants, creating a unique sensation of openness. The HMI interface and the dedicated seating controls for the front seat passenger represent a new level of detail and functionality for a Mazda premium interior. Even though the interior volumes have been rearranged in this way there is a high level of sportiness to enhance the feeling of driving dynamics.

SHINARI represents the profound connection of driver and machine and the beginning of Mazda's latest design theme ‘KODO-Soul in Motion’. SHINARI exhibits a functional aesthetic that will continue to evolve as Mazda continues to define its next generation of vehicles.

The quest for a Mazda original and a Japanese original

With SHINARI as the first step, Ikuo Maeda, general manager of Mazda’s design division, aims to create original Mazda designs that will be recognized around the world. He summarizes his resolve in the following words:

“My goal is to create designs that people can point to proudly and say, ‘This is a Mazda design’. There is no need for Mazda to build cars for people who are only concerned with ‘style’ and ‘trends’. Whether working on sports cars or compact cars, I have always worked to create designs that evoke an emotional response in people and I hope to keep doing the same as I remain fully committed to develop designs for people who love and admire cars. It is my personal belief that the only way to create designs that fundamentally connect with people and to create designs they love, is if the people creating them are absolutely passionate about cars and are willing to make that passion a firm policy for design expression.

“Further, I consider it vitally important to have an awareness of Japanese originality in designing cars for Mazda. This is not merely about incorporating traditional Japanese elements into car design. I believe in reflecting the Japanese spirit in car designs as part of a subconscious practice. So, while I consider where this may lead in the future, my plan is to create cars that will be instantly recognizable as a Mazda, even when viewed at a distance. My ultimate goal is to create a brand presence that car lovers around the world recognize as representing both Mazda originality and Japanese originality. Future Mazda’s will move people physically and emotionally – this is ‘KODO – Soul of Motion’”

HISTORY: 50 years of Mazda car design

PRODUCTION CARS

R360 Coupe (1960)
The R360 Coupe was Mazda’s first passenger vehicle. Its 2+2 cabin was enclosed in a stylishly functional coupe form that represented the cutting-edge of Japanese car design. The car combined appealing design with an affordable price in an era when owning one’s own car was still a dream for many; upon its release became a huge hit.
The R360 Coupe model represented a new page in history, not only for Mazda but also for passenger cars in Japan.

Luce 1500 (1966)
Based on an original Bertone design from Italy, the 'A-line' style of the Luce 1500 – due to the shape formed by the three pillars in the front, centre and rear – was adopted by Mazda's designers who enhanced its form with a unique Mazda flavour.
This modern, elegant design conveyed a dazzling individuality that exceeded the general level of styling of Japanese cars at the time and was in keeping with the name LUCE, the Italian word meaning ‘light’ or ‘shine’.

Cosmo Sport 110S (1967)
The Cosmo Sport, the – the world’s first mass produced model with a dual-rotor rotary engine – was unveiled to the world at the Tokyo Motor Show in October 1963 and went into production in 1967 after years of intensive tests. Mazda’s president at the time, Tsuneji Matsuda, amazed onlookers when he drove into the motor show venue in a prototype of the car. The Cosmo Sport combined gorgeous, futuristic proportions with superior drive performance and truly embodied the words ‘it feels more like flying that driving’.

Luce Rotary Coupe (1969)
The Luce Rotary Coupe equipped a hardtop coupe body with the new and exclusive 655cc x 2 rotary engine. With maximum output of 126hp and a top speed of 190km/hour, this was the first time that the front-wheel drive layout was adopted to utilize the rotary engine’s compact size to maximum benefit.

RX-7 (1978)
With its low, sharp front form characteristic of the front mid-ship engine positioning, daringly low wedge-shaped body optimized for aerodynamics and glass hatch back, the launch of the Savanna RX-7 was met with global acclaim. This model was extremely successful in motorsport leading to 100 wins in IMSA competition in the United States. Up against rivals including Porsche's 911 and Nissan's Fairlady 240Z, the car's achievements were unprecendented

Cosmo (929) Coupe (1981)
The second-generation Cosmo was launched in 1981 and was equipped with the world’s first turbo-charged rotary engine. To optimize its aerodynamic design, the car was equipped with four-lamp retractable headlights, a low bonnet and a thin radiator grill. The drag coefficient of this two-door hardtop was just CD = 0.32, giving the car the best aerodynamic performance in the world at the time.

MX-5 (1989)
Commercial sales of the MX-5 began in America in the spring of 1989. From launch, the MX-5 sold at rates that far exceeded all expectations. The popularity of the Roadster was not simply a success for Mazda – it also became the trigger for other car manufacturers around the world to launch sports car convertibles. Lightweight sports cars had disappeared for a period during the 1970s, and the MX-5 model was the main player in the segment's revival at the end of the 20th century.

Carol (1989)
The Carol's minimalist micro-car format was combined with the same adorable and appealing design of the original Carol from 1962.Together with a range of different variations including the turbo and canvas-top versions, the car gained a broad popularity base.

RX-7 (1991)
The 3rd generation RX-7 (FD) saw a dramatic leap in dynamic performance, and also embodied a ‘gram strategy’ of comprehensive weight reduction. At the same time, this model adopted an alluring and enticing style, based on the concept of ‘Beauty in the Beast’. The previous two generations of the RX-7 had built a strong presence for the model as a high-performing yet affordable sports car.

Xedos6 (1992)
The car was developed on the theme of ‘Lasting Value’ – value that will never fade – with the focus placed on superior quality and sophistication. In a poll of readers by the German industry magazine Auto Motor und Sport in 1993, Xedos6 ranked first for ‘Best Cars in the world in 1993’ in the mid-size import car category.

323F (1993)
The 323F, with its crouching form which could be likened to a sprinter just about to run a race, appeared on the market with, what was at the time, the world’s smallest V6 engine (2.0) for a mass-produced vehicle. This was a sporty compact car with superior motion performance, distinctive form and outstanding safety features, and promoted by Mazda as a ‘four-door coupe’.

Mazda6 (2002)
The Mazda6 was the start of the success story for Mazda's new Zoom-Zoom generation. Modern, sporty and dynamic, the car marked a watershed moment for Mazda and embodied a new image for its vehicles. In all its three body styles, the aggressive head and tail lamps, the taut lines and the sporty cockpit seduced new customers around the world.

RX-8 (2003)
At launch in 2003, the Mazda RX-8 coupe represented an impressive evolution of the rotary-engine sports car from the only company in the world to make them. Its dynamic and sporty design, unique centre-opening doors and room for four – along with a cleaner-running, more compact naturally-aspirated RENESIS rotary engine – made it a big hit with sports car customers around the world.

Mazda3 (2003)
The second model of the Zoom-Zoom line-up, the Mazda3 was the heir to the very successful 323 generations, bringing a fresh look to the compact segment with a very dynamic and athletic design in both body types; hatchback and sedan. The cockpit look was perfect for the sporty driving feel of the car. A few years later it would be topped by the high-performance MPS version, the fastest Mazda ever, with 250 km/h top speed.

CX-7 (2006)
The Mazda CX-7 is a crossover vehicle that combines high-performance power with 260 PS, a sporty design, SUV functionality and comfort. Developed using the MX-Crossport concept car (2005 Detroit Motor Show) as a starting point, the CX-7’s silhouette is dominated by an aggressively-raked windscreen angle of 66° which is even more extreme than on many sports cars. This is combined with a sweeping roofline, kick-up belt line and large, powerful fenders over 18-inch alloy wheels, giving the car an aggressive road stance.

Mazda2 (2007)
The 2007 Mazda2 car ended the trend towards larger and heavier automobiles, weighing 100 kilos less than its predecessor. It’s a revolution that led to lower fuel consumption and CO2 emissions, better performance and handling and nimbleness. The car’s dynamic design reflects these qualities and along with its other numerous assets resulted in the sub-compact Mazda winning the 'World Car of the Year' award in 2008.

Mazda5 (2010)
The all-new Mazda5 refines the winning recipe of its predecessor. Its exterior styling stands out of the crowd in a generally ‘boxy’ C-MAV segment, integrating Nagare design elements for the first time in a production vehicle, while its functionality still benefits from two sliding rear doors with a very large opening, generous leg room for seven passengers and high levels of seat flexibility called Karakuri. It features new powertrains including the 2.0 DISI with Mazda unique stop and start system called istop.

CONCEPT CARS

RX-500 (1970)
The RX-500 was the first concept car from Mazda which featured a rotary engine. Named in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Mazda’s establishment, the RX-500 was displayed at the Tokyo Motor Show in 1970. With a top speed of more than 200 km/hour, butterfly-wing doors that rotated upward to allow entry and exit, and tail lamps in three colours of green, yellow and red, the innovative concept attracted widespread attention.

RX-01 (1995)
The RX-01 was shown at the Tokyo Motor Show in 1995 and was also equipped with a rotary engine. This model’s unique form, including its short and wide proportions, was characteristic of the MSP-RE (multi-side port rotary engine) layout. The car had a dry sump lubrication system an extremely slanted nose and aerodynamic wing and was well-received.

RX-EVOLVE (1999)
This was the RX-8 concept car announced at the Tokyo Motor Show in 1999. It was equipped with the newly-developed rotary engine, RENESIS, and was a completely new four-seater sports car. At the time the model already sported an advanced package and design, but for the production version Ikuo Maeda, chief designer of the RX-8, led the way in further refinement work to give the design a feeling of even greater dynamic sensation.

MX-Sport Tourer (2001)
Displayed at the 2001 Geneva Motor Show, the MX-Sport Tourer featured double doors and a vario-lamella roof that slid open accordion-style. This concept car struck a balance between the convenience of a wagon and the dynamic design of a sports car. The interior featured rear seats that could be stored away with a single push of an electromagnetic switch and an extensive fully-flat load area. The concept ultimately led to the Karakuri seat arrangement adopted in the Mazda6 and Mazda5.

Nagare (2006)
The Nagare concept gave its name to a series of concept cars inspired by nature. At the time Mazda’s designers were simply exploring potential surface language and vehicle proportions that would begin the evolution of Flow. Most impressive of all were the two long butterfly doors that moved forward and up to enable access to the four-seat interior. With a centrally-located driving seat and wraparound lounge-effect rear seating, Nagare managed to combine driving dynamics and interior function all in the one innovative package.

Taiki (2007)
The most futuristic of all the Nagare concepts, the Taiki is a sports cars designed for a sustainable society, exploring weight-reduction and aerodynamic technologies in a bid to improve fuel efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions. Taking its inspiration from the Earth’s atmosphere, the groundbreaking stretched-coupe form with its front-engine rear-wheel-drive layout, short overhangs and all-glass canopy, was designed to visually express air flow which can be seen in everything from its surface treatment to its complex but beautiful wheel arches and wing-like tail.

Furai (2008)
The Mazda Furai concept (Japanese for ‘sound of the wind’) debuted at 2008 North American International Auto Show. It was created at Mazda’s studio in Irvine, California to blur the boundaries between road car and weekend racer to create an actual functional race car. On Furai, Nagare’s ‘flow lines’ actually enhance the vehicle’s aerodynamic performance, by channeling and directing the airflow over Furai’s body surface. Its ethanol-fuelled, three-rotor rotary engine produces 450 HP at 9,000 rpm.