Having abandoned its unloved Nagare design language, Mazda has offered only two hints at its new stylistic direction so far, the Shinari concept and a design study on a forthcoming iteration of the Mazda3. And though both hint at how Mazda will express its “Japanese Alfa Romeo” ambitions, neither is obviously a near-production design. But with these just-released renderings of the Mingai Concept, Mazda is bringing its new design language ever closer to reality, as we’re looking at a future CX-5 compact crossover aimed directly at Hyundai’s hot Tucson (ix35 in Europe). It’s a sleek, Shinari-influenced design that proves that the brand’s cleaner, classier design direction can impart any segment with an upscale vibe. In fact, with mild alterations to the grille, this could almost be the rumored Italian-built Alfa compact CUV. For a brand that wins as many accolades for its fun-to-drive performance as it does ridicule for its “deranged Pokemon” styling, this is clearly a good direction to be headed in.
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