By on June 23, 2010

Nagare is done. After the 5, it’s highly unlikely that there will be another nagare car. Mazda has moved on

Mazda’s Peter Birtwhistle gives Mazda fans the brand’s best news in a long time [via AutoExpress]: the crazy design language inspired by the Nagare show car of 2006, will die with its first victim, the 2011 Mazda5. Mazda’s new direction?

[Becoming] more like a Japanese Alfa Romeo, producing cars which are great to drive, but crucially that also have the right premium feel, particularly inside.

Great idea. It would have been even better, say, five years ago. Better late than never…

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22 Comments on “Quote Of The Day: Don’t Let The Door Hit Your Character Lines On The Way Out Edition...”

  • avatar

    Just as long as they get rid of those stupid grins they all have. I wont buy one til they do.

  • avatar

    Everyone wants to be Alfa Romeo except for Alfa Romeo.

    Also, are Alfas really known for their premium interior feel?

    • 0 avatar

      The last Alfa I drove (a 159, two years ago) had reasonable interior materials, but it was not on the level of its contemporary VW Golf, let alone Audi.

  • avatar

    I always thought Nagare looked awesome in concept car form, but as Mazda started translating more and more of that styling language to production cars it kinda stopped working. So I guess this is good news.

  • avatar

    A goofy looking Alfa will always have some panache. A goofy looking Mazda is…well…it’s just another goofy looking Japanese car.

  • avatar

    To be like Alfa was Mazda’s officially stated design goal 8Can’t remember if it was from a Henry Wallace or Lewis Booth interview) as far back as 2001-3-ish… When the first cars with this design hit the street, it looked like where Alfa had been, rather than anticipating where Alfa might go. But even then, and up thru the mid of this decade the Mazda’s were handsome … I find that they are starting to look goofy (before co-opting the Alfa themes, Mazda design had driven down the same dead-end as Nissan, competent, fairly handsome vehicles, but sooo boring…)

    EDIT: Funny, in the time that I was writing the above, MPresley was also noting the “goofyness” of the current Mazda design language.

  • avatar

    The Mazda 3 continues to grow on me, but this is probably for the best considering the amount of acerbic comments that have been doled out on the new design. Nice to see that they have a strong focus on what the brand is all about. If they stay true to the brand, I think that they should be in good shape.

  • avatar

    Not sure how know your position on this.
    I thought you liked the Mazda direction.
    First of all, it seems to me the very best car in it’s segment is the Mazda6S, perhaps the 3S as well. Other than it’s MPG, it is the most fun to drive, great interior and sleekest looking.
    I know the 3 is awesome and have purchased 2.
    I also thought this 6 and 3 look was part of the nagare design theory. Am I wrong?
    I guess there are those that understand the Alfa Romero dream, but I can’t having never sat in or driven one.
    Is this what us Mazda lovers want to see Mazda become?

  • avatar

    I don’t mind the sculpting on the 5’s door, but the grills on the 5 and 3 are atrocious.

  • avatar

    We’re emerging from recession, we don’t need the grins any more…

  • avatar

    Hmmmm…Maybe now they’ll give us Smoochie Face?

    Audi gave us the slack jaw, gaping maw…Ford gave us the razor blade grin…Kia temporarily gave us that upside down razor tooth thing…Smoochie Face seems the next logical step.

  • avatar

    Just please make that Furai

  • avatar

    @daga: Agreed! -Too bad Mazda couldn’t have done for the Furai what Lexus has done for the LFA.

  • avatar

    I think they’re throwing the baby out with the bath water.

    What sucks about Mazda’s current design language is not Nagare. It’s those damn corporate grilles… which didn’t appear on the first Nagare designs.

    The first iteration of the second generation 6 was utterly fantastic. The CX9, the early CX7s, the facelifted NC MX-5… but then, starting with the MX-5 and the new 3, they got the idea that they had to start putting absolutely humongous gap-toothed smileys on every single car.

    And yet, even with that atrocious grille, I think the Mazda6 is the most striking four-door on the road today… bar none.

  • avatar
    7th Frog

    I got a 2010 3 back in march and exactly one person pointed out the gaping grin and it was a guy that I know reads car mags. Everyone else seems to like it. Of course they could be lying to me. I don’t care. It is still looking to be the best vehicle I have ever owned.

    I did get black to reduce the grin effect, though.

  • avatar

    The bad news is that were going to have to look at that hideous new Mazda5 until it gets a restyle. Gack.

  • avatar

    I think the first gen 6 and 3 still look clean and well proportioned, without all the clutter of the Nagare-inspired designs. Kinda like how the E39 BMW is still much more attractive than the newer generations. For all the crap Bangle took, he sure did influence design at other companies like Mazda.

  • avatar
    Beta Blocker

    Niky Tamayo …. “And yet, even with that atrocious grille, I think the Mazda6 is the most striking four-door on the road today… bar none.”

    I own a 2009 Mazda6i, and I think personally that the 6’s grille — which is most definitely not a happy face grille — fits in very well with the other Mazda 6 design cues, some of which are borrowed from the RX-8.

    The RX-8 is going away, largely because of poor sales driven by consumer doubts over the reliability and performance of its rotary engine.

    Think about what a two-door coupe version of the Mazda 6 might look like, and how it might perform, if it had a high-tech V6 option mated to a six-speed manual transmission, along with some other selected interior upgrades and some extra handling goodies.

    One more thing I do really want though: The console is too wide and prevents me from achieving a just-right driving position for my right leg. Trim the console down so that it doesn’t interfere with what are otherwise good driver ergonomics.

    I am thinking about doing this myself, once the warranty runs out.

    Unless of course there is stuff under that part of the console that can’t be repositioned or relocated easily.

  • avatar

    Just something you have to deal with. Mazda always has intrusive center consoles. I don’t think any parts-swapping from previous 6’s will help.

    That’s the funny thing about the grins. You only really notice how bad they are in the typical “sexy-low-angle” magazine photos. In real life, you’re not looking at a Mazda from just two feet off the ground (unless you’ve just been knocked over by one), and the design actually works… somewhat.

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