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Mazda Taiki unveiled

Thu, 25 Oct 2007 00:00:00 -0700

By Tim Pollard

Motor Shows

25 October 2007 10:55

You're not telling me that Mazda is about to launch a car with out-riggers and a freaky body, are you?

Yes. And no. Mazda has played with its 'nagare' design concept over the course of 2007, with a steady stream of concept cars inspired by the natural rhythms of nature. Waves, winds, that sort of thing. And the latest, the gracefully swooping Taiki, is indeed named after a Japanese wind. CAR Online has been assured that this is a very serious design direction. Senior designers have confirmed to us that a new, small production car will appear with this nagare-inspired look by 2009. Will that be a new Mazda 3 small hatchback? Or a new, standalone coupe to take up where the MX-3 left off? We're not sure yet, but the news heralds the most important change in Mazda's styling since the arrival of the Mk1 MX-5.

It's stunning in the metal - a proper old-school concept car, whose graceful length impress and inspire, yet it all makes sense in the context of the Nagare, Ryuga and Hakaze concepts shown earlier this year. This series of concepts previews a definite movement and Mazda is deadly serious about introducing the look to a showroom near you. Expect the body surfacing, and the adventurous new grille details, to make the journey from motor show stand to high-street dealership. You'll have to wait a while longer for the Taiki's 1.6-litre rotary engine running on hydrogen, but it's working hard at this technology as well. Trials start in 2008 in Japan.


By Tim Pollard