Mazda’s upcoming CX-5

28 Apr 2011 | 2,142 views | No Comment
By Don Hammonds One thing you can count on from Mazda: The company knows who it is and how to translate that to the cars it makes. Case in point is the new upcoming CX-5 small crossover based on  the company's Minagi concept that was shown at the New York International Auto Show. Somehow Mazda's translated its legendary zoom-zoom ambiance into a product that looks unique, muscular and "on the move"  and quite unlike anything else on the road.  If the company's final production version--the CX-5-- looks like this one--and we're told that it does--Mazda's got a big hit on the way.      What's really interesting to us at Automobile Journal is that Mazda has now come up with several different design languages over recent years for its products, all of them resolutely Asian/Japanese in translation--and yet, all of them coherent, related to what's gone on before,and yet still fresh with each new turn. You can count the number of companies capable of doing that on two hands--maybe. Mazda says the Minagi concept is the first one to include its new  SKYACTIV technologies and  KODO design language in one package, and the second concept vehicle, after Shinari, to emphasize the "KODO - Soul of Motion" design theme. "I felt a compact SUV was the perfect vehicle to express agility and focused movement; the flexibility of four limbs moving in unison, and in an upright posture," said Masashi Nakayama, Chief Designer, MINAGI Concept, Mazda Motor Corporation (MC). "While SHINARI was a pure design concept to express the full potential of KODO design, MINAGI gives a not-too-subtle hint of the next generation of Mazda products to come. MINAGI's design elements combine the expression of energy pulsing throughout the vehicle with the keen agility to move about freely and nimbly.  With its upright, compact packaging, MINAGI offers a vision of KODO design that is different to SHINARI yet shares the same sinuous, powerful stance," a Mazda news release says. Minagi is derived from "minagiru," which means to gather or accumulate, and "ikioi," which means momentum or to catapult forward, Mazda says,and it  loosely translates as "an expression of the buildup of total energy which can burst into motion at any time."  Mazda says its designers focused on the cheetah, the fastest animal on land, to draw inspiration.  A cheetah's head is positioned high, while long, powerful and supple limbs hold its lean torso upright to enable it to change direction quickly at high speed. " When visualizing how the animal hunts, Mazda designers set out to evoke the moment when the animal contracts its muscles, ready to sprint and lunge at its prey.  Furthermore, such a lunge can be in any direction; an idea which fits with the function of an agile compact SUV as it quickly yet gracefully maneuvers through a sprawling cityscape," Mazda says. The news release from Mazda concludes, " Environmental efficiency is a function of not just Mazda's revolutionary SKYACTIV engines and transmissions, but by also being developed to have a SKYACTIV-Body, which means body rigidity improved by 30 percent over current models while being eight percent lighter, and a SKYACTIV-Chassis, which combines a 14-percent lighter chassis with revised suspension and steering functions.  The MINAGI Concept symbolizes the evolution of Mazda and is the forerunner to the launch of the brand's next generation of Zoom-Zoom." Sounds good to us. Bring on the CX-5---fast.

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