Are you a fan of the current Mazda look, with its curvy shapes, smiling mouth and eye-catching jewelry? It all started with the Nagare concept shown at the 2007 LA Motor Show, where the carmaker showed off a car that “flowed”. A couple of concepts later – Ryuga, Hakaze, Taiki and Furai – the Nagare design language was in full flow (pardon the pun), as Mazda tried to implement it onto its road car range.
They’ve finally managed to apply the Nagare design in full with the new Mazda5 (as shown in Geneva), before killing it. Yes, the Nagare design language is dead.
Creator of Nagare, Laurens van den Acker, left the company for Renault last year, and the brand’s European design boss Peter Birtwhistle was recently quoted as saying: “Nagare is done. After the 5, it’s highly unlikely that there will be another Nagare car. Mazda has moved on.” He adds that Mazda top guns in Japan aren’t fully convinced with the Nagare look, which the Brit describes as “particularly difficult to apply to a boxy people carrier shape.”
So what can we expect from them next? Birtwhistle told Auto Express that Mazda is aiming to become “more like a Japanese Alfa Romeo, producing cars which are great to drive, but crucially that also have the right premium feel, particularly inside.” Mazda’s global design chief Ikuo Maeda, who led the RX-8 and Mazda2 design teams, is the man in charge.
A number of concepts are being designed under the “thrusting motion” theme and Maeda will select a winner in September. The chosen design will debut at the Paris Motor Show along with the name of Mazda’s new design philosophy. Interestingly, Nagare creator van den Acker is set to show off his best for Renault in Paris, so the stage is set!