If this is what's to come, the future looks bright.
Automakers are rolling out reveals for the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show, and Mazda seeks to capture the hearts of hatchback fans with the Kai Concept. Teased along with the Vision Coupe Concept for a few weeks now, the Kai is said to herald “a new generation of Mazda cars.”
The automaker is slim on details thus far, but we know the Kai features the next-generation Skyactiv-X engine, which should become the first compression-ignition gasoline engine on the market. Mazda figures the engine should deliver a 20-30 percent improvement in efficiency while also generating 10-30 percent more torque.
The Kai Concept further elaborates on Mazda’s Kodo design, evolving to a “more mature expression” according to the manufacturer. From the standpoint of styling, that translates to a rather muscular look with flared wheel arches and narrow headlights, flanking Mazda’s familiar front fascia. Out back there’s a relatively sedate rear fascia that incorporates a diffuser with dual exhaust outlets, paired with taillights that – like the rear fascia itself – are extremely reminiscent of the RX Vision Concept.
Inside, the Kai Concept offers a rather minimalistic interior for driver and passengers, an approach also seen on the Vision Coupe Concept and something of a departure from other feature-heavy vehicles. A bank of gauges face the driver, with a simple transmission stalk in the center console and an infotainment system blended into the narrow dash.
With the Kai Concept, Mazda is intent on stressing refinement throughout the vehicle to deliver a ride that’s quieter and more comfortable, while also enhancing performance. The Mazda3 – of which the Kai Concept closely mirrors in size and design – is already fan favorite among the masses. Should these traits migrate from concept-to-reality, the next-generation Mazda3 will be a vehicle well worth waiting for.
Gallery: Mazda Kai Concept
Mazda reveals KAI CONCEPT and VISION COUPE
Mazda revealed two concepts today at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show. The Mazda KAI CONCEPT, a compact hatchback that heralds a new generation of inspired vehicles from the award-winning Japanese carmaker, made its world premiere. It was the second appearance for the Mazda VISION COUPE, a design concept that debuted yesterday evening at a pre-show event called Mazda Design Night 2017.
Featuring the next-generation SKYACTIV-X petrol engine, SKYACTIV-Vehicle Architecture and a more mature expression of the KODO design language, the KAI CONCEPT embodies the technology, engineering and styling concepts that will define the coming generation of Mazdas. Refinements in all areas of dynamic performance have produced a considerably quieter, more comfortable ride and enhanced performance. The KAI CONCEPT features muscular, solid proportions in a form brought to life by a delicate flow of reflections over the sides of the body.
Highlights of the VISION COUPE, meanwhile, include a KODO - Soul of Motion exterior that embodies a minimalist Japanese aesthetic, achieving a simple “one-motion” form that conveys a sense of speed. The interior applies the concept of ma (literally “space”) from traditional Japanese architecture, combining three-dimensional depth with a strong longitudinal axis to produce a relaxed space while maintaining the feeling of motion. As for the concept’s name, it pays homage to Mazda’s tradition of design elegance represented by coupé models like the Mazda R360, Mazda’s first passenger car, and the Mazda Luce Rotary, also known as the Mazda R130.
Otherwise, Mazda has spotlights on the all-new Mazda CX-8, a three-row SUV going on sale in Japan later this year, as well as the 2018 Mazda MX-5 and 2018 Mazda MX-5 RF. The latter offer a number of enhancements such as a higher quality ride, more peaceful cabin and a wider choice of body colours.
In line with Sustainable Zoom-Zoom 2030, Mazda’s long-term vision for technology development, the company is looking to use the fundamental appeal of the automobile – driving pleasure – to inspire people and enrich society.