By on August 30, 2010

When Mazda’s next-generation Mazda5 debuts later this year, it will mark the high-water point for the brand’s Nagare design language. Named for a 2006 concept that first showed off the dramatically flowing (some might say overwrought) look, Nagare has not been a stunning success, and Mazda announced several months ago that the Mazda5 would be the last car to use the design language. At that time, Mazda said it intended to reposition itself as “The Japanese Alfa-Romeo,” but lines like that could mean literally anything.  Today, with the debut of the Mazda Shinari Concept, it’s clear that Mazda’s new look is headed in a far more conservative direction. In fact, to our eye, the sleek four-door looks quite a bit like the meeting point between the Tesla Model S and the Fisker Karma. In any case, it fits the “Japanese Alfa-Romeo” billing quite well. Plus, it doesn’t look like a deranged Pokemon. Now that’s progress!

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

33 Comments on “What’s Wrong With This Picture: Mazda’s New Look Edition...”


  • avatar

    Their new look is Fisker’s look?

  • avatar
    mjz

    Much better! They need to wipe the “smiles” off their faces. STAT!

  • avatar
    TonyJZX

    looks a little ian callum

    this is one mazda i can appreciate

  • avatar

    now Mazda looks like Infiniti

  • avatar
    Syke

    Do a 3 even vaguely along those lines, and there will be another one in my garage, very quickly. Do a 6 exactly on those lines, and it’ll happen faster.

  • avatar

    Boring Infiniti-type design.

  • avatar
    cmoibenlepro

    Great design.

    “Boring Infiniti-type design.”
    Boring? I don’t agree.
    In my book, any Mazda design that does not look like a smiling Pokemon (e.g. Slowpoke) is a huge improvement.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    So, we’re trading the unique, if somewhat odd, Nagare look for the generic Audi maw that was played out by 2008

    Not a good thing.

  • avatar
    kol

    Whoever designing these things must be hooked on emoticons. I mean, look at it! They tool him that the cars liked too “smiley” so he turned around and made a car with a similar front end, but gave it slanted front “eyes” so it looks like Megatron instead of a puppy.

  • avatar
    L'avventura

    I’d say it looks like the Infiniti Essence more then a Fisker or Tesla.

    However, the last time there was an “Japanese Alpha-Romeo” it was Subaru with the inverse-flying-vagina front grill (technically called the “spread wings grille”) that was a complete failure. It was even designed by Andreas Zapatinas a former FIAT/Alpha-Romeo designer who designed great looking vehicles like the Fiat Barchetta, Fiat Coupé, and Alpha 145, but wasn’t able to impart his magic on Subaru.

    But this Mazda I’d say looks to be on the right track. Mazda needs to go a little up-market niche if it wants to compete, and this car seems to have masculinity and luxury in the right proportions without it becoming a gaudy mess. At the very least this design won’t be mistaken for another 4-door sedan and it doesn’t have an off putting design like “Alpha” Subarus.

  • avatar
    Augie the Argie

    Phew! About time for Mazda to correct the Joker fascia into something more decent. I wanted to replace my 07 Mazda 5 but in NO way I’m getting the new model. It’s either the 2010 model with Stability Control or I might be waiting to test drive the Ford Grand C-Max when they hit showrooms. That said I hope Ford doesn’t commit the same mistake done with the Fiesta launch this time with the C-Maxes by taking too long to bring their cars to the customers.

  • avatar
    Disaster

    Huge improvement, but still not enamored by the big mouth grill and slanty eyes. It looks a bit fishlike.

  • avatar

    What’s ‘wrong’?
    Hrm, it’s an Aston-Martin Rapide as Patagonian Toothfish, spawned by the aliens from (the film) “Lifeforce” and raised by the guys at Citroen?

    Otherwise, I like. Mazda could use some ~Mean (and I don’t mean average).

    .
    .
    (Just sayin’, but a 20-year-old naked space-vampire Mathilda May opening the driver’s door and coming for your soul would be the absolute cherry on the third pane of the triptych, btw.)

  • avatar
    jimble

    I know it’s just a concept but don’t people like to see out of their side windows… even a little bit?

    • 0 avatar
      tankinbeans

      I’d be more concerned with having a seating position so low you’d need a ladder to get out of the car combined with that looooonnnnnggggg hood. Otherwise I like the departure from happy Pokemon. Now if Audi could dump the demon Pokemon with guyliner we’d be in business.

  • avatar
    Hank

    I like it. The grill reminds me of classic Mazdas like the ’73 RX-3.

    http://media.photobucket.com/image/Mazda%20RX-3%201973/krieg1981/130_0707_01_z1973_mazda_rx3front_vi.jpg

  • avatar
    chuckR

    If that car were a moderate 56″ high, then those wheels look like they would have 28″ rims. I’ll wait to see what they actually make, thanks.

  • avatar
    gslippy

    I hope it has a V16 under that very long hood.

    And all buyers must be shorter than 5 ft 6 inches. Also, it has no door handles, nearly no mirrors, and as ChuckR says, 28 inch rims.

    Whatever. That gaping front end has to go. Hey Mazda: Think Kia styling, and you’ll do better.

  • avatar
    50merc

    The question isn’t what’s wrong with this picture, it’s what’s wrong with Mazda. Have they completely lost their way? Automobiles are intended to convey human beings, and they can’t do that if they look like something in a 25th century Anime fantasy. Mazda would do well to consider how well Toyota, Honda, Nissan and Hyundai have done with normal cars for normal people.

    • 0 avatar
      Demetri

      Mazda cannot and will not be an equivalent to any of those mainstream brands. That’s fine. There is room for niche brands.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      Considering that Mazda was one of the few brands to do fairly well by sales and marketshare in the maw and belly of a recession, and do so without doing a Kia and playing the value card, I’d say that the styling isn’t a big factor for most people.

      Most people forgive detailing as long as the basic shape is ok and the vehicle itself has good bones. I think Mazda can safely ignore the internet wankery.

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      psar +1

      For as much hate there is around here about the smiley design, actual customers in the dealerships seem to love it.

    • 0 avatar
      CRConrad

      PSarh…hjinnninini? anianian? You know, that guy! wrote:“Considering that Mazda was one of the few brands to do fairly well by sales and marketshare in the maw and belly of a recession, and do so without doing a Kia and playing the value card, I’d say that the styling isn’t a big factor for most people.”I don’t get it… Has it struck you guys that the styling may actually be a positive for most people — that far from there being any “miracle, despite the unfortunate looks…”, the current Mazda styling could, at least in part, be precisely why Mazda has done “fairly well by sales and marketshare in the maw and belly of a recession”?

      I mean, TTAC is the first place I’ve heard talk of “hideous current Mazda styling” bandied about as accepted fact; people like, oh, say… My wife, for instance, says we should test-drive a Mazda 6; she thinks maybe we should buy one, because they look so good. And the thing is, she’s no freak of nature — that’s pretty much the general view among ordinary folks here.

      Maybe it’s the clique of car nuts here that’s out of touch with the tastes of ordinary people, eh? If so, then Mazda is definitely on the right track with their designs: Ordinary people still buy a lot more cars than the TTAC commentariat.

  • avatar
    Highway27

    Am I the only person who sees Maserati in that look?

    • 0 avatar
      gslippy

      I see it, but I also see the Tesla Model S. For me, the Model S is the beautifullest car [almost] around. This Mazda, not so much.

      • 0 avatar
        swordfysh

        It looks both like the Infiniti Essence and the Tesla Model S:

        http://bit.ly/frSixK <– Tesla Model S
        http://bit.ly/kXW81G <– Infiniti Essence

        If a Kodo design Mazda 6 looks anything close to the Tesla Model S, it could be the next Hyundai Sonata.

  • avatar
    Demetri

    It looks pretty good, but who knows how they will adapt it to production cars. It’s hard to imagine a Mazda2 or a Miata taking a whole lot out of this, but we’ll see.

  • avatar
    Demetri

    Speaking of Mazda, Edmunds Straightline has a pair of really interesting articles today on the new Sky-G and Sky-D engines that Mazda will be rolling out in a year or so. With the new engines and the new styling, I’m feeling pretty good about Mazda’s future.

    http://blogs.insideline.com/straightline/2010/08/mazda-sky-g-and-sky-d-engines-revealed-driven.html#more

    http://blogs.insideline.com/straightline/2010/08/mazdas-remarkable-sky-d-diesel-engine.html#more

  • avatar
    Doc

    One of the things that makes the concept look so good is the short front overhang and how far the front wheels are pushed forward. The problem is, this cannot be done with a transverse mounted engine and front drive set-up.

    Once you push the front wheels back 6 inches into the car, the whole design is shot.

  • avatar
    eh_political

    It’s…….awful. One of Bangle’s Z Roadsters slipped under the fence and impregnated a current gen Mazda 3. They may have fixed the objectionable grille, but everything else is a mess, from proportion to utilization of space. While this may be acceptable in a styling/design exercise, it’s hard to imagine that the details will transfer to various platforms Mazda relies on for volume. Current gen 3 just got a whole lot more appealing.

    gslippy: If Mazda shoehorned a V16 under the hood, it would be a transversely mounted fwd, displacing 1.8 litres.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    It’s nice in theory, improbable in reality. But concept cars are just that – concepts. Hopefully, future Mazdas will incorporate some of those design cues in a reasonable fashion.


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Subscribe without commenting

Recent Comments

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Contributing Writers

  • Jack Baruth, United States
  • Brendan McAleer, Canada
  • Marcelo De Vasconcellos, Brazil
  • Vojta Dobes, Czech Republic
  • Matthias Gasnier, Australia
  • W. Christian 'Mental' Ward, Abu Dhabi
  • Mark Stevenson, Canada
  • Cameron Aubernon, United States
  • J Emerson, United States