By on October 29, 2011

Mazda’s new Takeri concept, set to debut at the Tokyo Auto Show, likely signals the future look of the struggling Mazda6 sedan, as the brand reinvents itself as the “Japanese Afla-Romeo.” And a good look it is too, managing the all-important tension between expressiveness and subtlety that Mazda has often missed in its designs. But more than an Alfa, this concept reminds me of another brand’s most prominent design, namely Tesla’s Model S. And though that comparison purely stylistic (and possibly a bit of a stretch), Takeri does represent Mazda’s latest step towards an increasing emphasis on green technology. The company’s press release notes that the Takeri Concept

features the i-stop idling stop system and Mazda’s first regenerative braking system. The regenerative braking system efficiently converts kinetic energy to electricity during deceleration, stores it in capacitors and then uses it to power the vehicle’s electric equipment, thereby reducing load on the engine and saving fuel. Thanks to these electric devices, the Mazda TAKERI achieves excellent fuel economy.

The regenerative braking system represents Step Two of Mazda’s Building Block Strategy. After renewing existing technologies, such as engines and bodies, Step One of the Building Block Strategy is idling stop technology (i-stop), Step Two is regenerative braking technology, and Step Three is electric drive technology (hybrid, etc.).


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19 Comments on “What’s Wrong With This Picture: Mazda’s Model S Edition...”

  • avatar

    When I saw the conceptual drawings of this design language, I said that it will not lend itself well to front drive proportions. the drawings showed a rear drive car with a very short front overhang.

    I think this car demonstrates that. The front overhang is massive. The front wheels need to be pushed up at lest 6 inches to make the long hood work. The combination of high belt line and long hood would make this car look very odd.

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      The large swoop over the front wheel well needs a large front overhang for balance. A RWD-type wheel position would turn the swoop into a pontoon fender.

    • 0 avatar

      I’m not sure why people are so against largish front overhangs here…there were plenty of RWD vehicles with massive front overhangs over the years and I don’t recall people thinking of them as hideous for it. Yeah it’s noticeable if you purposely go looking for it but it’s not hideous.

  • avatar

    I’m not surprised it looks like a Model S, given Tesla’s lead designer (Franz von Holzhausen) came from Mazda.

    Agree that the Takeri has a massive front overhang. It’s not becoming.

  • avatar

    Animal/cat face? If you hide the car from the front wheels back, those headlights are definately “eyes” combined with the swage line running through them to the grill. Plus the air intake/scoop/ whatever on the lower leading edge of the bumper a mouth. A very aggressive feline is what I see.

  • avatar

    Don’t like the mass of the front end, but it’s probably those EU pedestrian safety rules at play. It saddens me the current 6 is such a rare sight on the road, it’s really a pretty car, done the way Mazda can do pretty. Overall though it’s quite nice. One question I have is, why does it seem there is only one company making steering wheels for all the manufacturers?

  • avatar

    One day, but perhaps not, the Japanese will design something that is on the one hand not totally derivative but looks fairly nice (such us this design tries to achieve but fails since it looks like about four or five other cars), or on the other hand isn’t completely goofy looking (like almost all other Mazdas in existence).

    Strangely, the interior is quite clean looking. The JVC boombox engineers must have been on strike when the prototype was rendered.

  • avatar

    There’s a lot of Audi in those headlights, and a lot of Hyundai in those tail lights. It’s not a bad looking car, but they need to actually do *THIS* if they intend to get anywhere, not some watered down “production friendly” version. They also need to at least try to capture some of that interior. Recent Mazda interiors look like caves, just dark and depressing.

  • avatar

    Perhaps not surprising as Franz von Holzhausen, who headed up Mazda’s design efforts, moved to Tesla and is responsible for the Model S. While Franz von Holzhausen is more responsible for the failed Nagare design language at Mazda, the new Kudo which this concept is based, clearly shares a common lineage.

    Either way, ‘looks like’ comparisons are also obnoxious in car discussions. Most of that stance and overall shape actually looks more like the current Mazda 6.

    • 0 avatar

      This is based on the Shinari concept. “Kodo” is the design language, not a specific model/concept. IMO, it is infinitely better than Nagare.

      It seems clear that the Takeri is intended to match the Minagi concept (CX-5) from earlier this year. Thus, I expect the production Mazda6 to have the same tone-downs as occurred from the Minagi to CX-5: the grille trim extending into the headlights will go; the mirrors will be normal; etc. In my eyes, it’s a very good looking car, but we’ll see if it fixes failing sales numbers.

      Mazda also released concept renderings of a Mazda3 5-door in the new design language. They’re rough, but Mazda is certainly using the cat as inspiration. (Also check out the details on the camo they used on the CX-5.) I’m looking forward to when the Mazda3 gets this treatment with its next full redesign. I hope it will be ready for the 2014 model year.

  • avatar

    What’s wrong? The steering wheel is on the wrong side! LOL

    I’m wondering when the era of gun slit windows and no headroom above rear seat will be over? Also would like to see a wagon and a lift-back make a comeback for Mazda6.

  • avatar

    “Japanese Afla-Romeo”

    Funny, my first take was what a Buick would look like if interpreted by Maserati.

    Upon a second look, what a Buick would look like if interpreted by Maserati to be built by a Japanese car company.

  • avatar

    It’s a beautiful car. There are hints of Infiniti in the front end, bits of Jaguar in the rear, and the overall profile has a bit of Panamera to it, but it doesn’t look derivative overall.

    If anything it looks like what a RX-8 would be as a full four door sedan.

  • avatar

    Why can’t Honda come up with some thing similar?

  • avatar

    Also a passing resemblance to the latest Volvo S60.

  • avatar

    Good looking in a generic sort of way…strong hints of Jaguar XF in the front end of the first shot, and that rear end treatment looks a lot like Hyundai Sonata to me.

    But personally, I didn’t think there was much wrong with the looks of the current 6.

  • avatar

    That looks really, really, really good

  • avatar

    I absolutely love this. I am a Mazda fan (not a fanboy). This look for the 6 and the 3. Now keep the driving dynamics and bring the fuel efficiency up to futures standards of about 36mg highway combine that with more standard features and a 10 percent lower price and boom…instant success.

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