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Mazda Previews Paris-Bound Shinari Concept

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On: Wed, Sep 1, 2010 at 9:20AM | By: Chris Weiss

Mazda Previews Paris-Bound Shinari Concept

Mazda is showcasing new design language in a concept that it calls Shinari. The Japanese automaker recently previewed the new concept at a design event in Milan, and will officially debut the Shinari at the 2010 Paris Motor Show in late-September/October.

The Shinari is a curvaceous five-door hatch with an RX-8-meets-Aston-Martin look. The concept displays a shift in design language from Nagare to Kodo. Kodo translates into "soul of motion." The new language clearly drops the flowing side strakes that were such an integral part of the Nagare language, but maintains a similar flowing, kinetic style. The front-end has been tightened over the more bulbous front ends seen under Nagare, representing a move toward a more compact, focused design ethic.

Not to be confused with the nigiri of Japanese sushi houses, Nagare translates to "flow." The vehicles crafted under the mantra were designed to show “motion in vehicles, whether they’re moving or still,” with prominent lines flowing along the sides melding the front fasica seamlessly to the rear-end. Nagare first appeared on the aptly-named Nagare Concept, which debuted at the 2006 LA Motor Show.

The language appeared on several other concepts before making its full production debut on the 2011 Mazda5 at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show. Reports earlier this summer indicated that Mazda was unhappy with the language and was moving in a new direction.

Peter Birtwhistle, head of Mazda Europe’s design, told Auto Express in June: “Nagare is done. After the [Mazda5], it’s highly unlikely that there will be another Nagare car. Mazda has moved on.”

He added that executives were unhappy with how the language translated to Mazda vehicles, stating that it was “particularly difficult to apply to a boxy people mover [Mazda 5]”

So the Nagare language was rather short-lived in production, though pieces of it were featured on other Mazda vehicles including the RX-8 and Mazda3.
From what we can see on the Shinari concept, Mazda isn't entirely abandoning the idea of "motion in vehicles, whether they'removing or still," but refining it. The Shinari still emulates a sense of motion, but in a sleeker, more subtle fashion.
Mazda has not indicated when or where we might see Kodo in production. However, the company has indicated that the language will inspire future production models. It remains to be seen if the automaker can translate the "soul of motion" into a car that is less sporty than the Shinari.

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