Mazda’s Kodo – Soul of Motion design language has been a hallmark for the brand ever since the Shinari concept first made its appearance more than half a decade ago. Now, the brand is advancing Kodo design to the next generation with this, the Mazda Vision Coupe, which is making its official debut at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show.

The four-door coupe concept serves as a preview of what’s to come from the Japanese marque, showcasing a more minimalistic aesthetic that does away with excess elements for a simpler form.

At the front, the familiar Mazda grille has been reshaped to be wider, with the “wings” at the corners extending further into the round headlights. Those protruding wings house slim LED light bars that function as both DRLs and indicators. Flanking the grille are concave sections that help to accentuate the grille further, while two small “blades” are featured on the lower apron.

With the aim of simplicity, the bonnet and front fenders sport less complex lines than on previous Mazda introductions, including the RX-Vision concept from 2015. Here, the bonnet line is follows a linear line that gradually widens to meet the ultra-narrow cameras that substitute conventional side mirrors.

Viewed from the side, the concept’s proportions follow the golden ratio of classic coupe design – long bonnet and a cabin positioned towards the rear of the body. A strong character line is seen originating from the badge on the grille, progressing towards the badge at the rear. Other features include side vents located aft of the front wheels.

The linear transitions in light and shadow create that “vortex effect” you see between the 21-inch front and 22-inch rears. According to Ikuo Maeda, managing executive director and head of design of brand style at Mazda, the subtle concaves to create the look required several clay models to be made, aided by computer simulations to see how the light falls onto the body.

There’s also plenty of glass on show, with a wide panoramic roof that leads towards a steeply raked rear window. The rear is reminiscent of the RX-Vision concept, but with a few tweaks to adhere to the new design direction.

For starters, the taillights are a single round unit at each end, and there are no longer linked by a flat spoiler. Instead, LED light bars (also function as indicators) are put in place, which integrate into a “shadow line” towards the badge. The shape also creates a subtle lip spoiler on the bonnet section.

Moving further down, the rear lower apron is simpler in terms of design, with the quad exhaust pipes (two more than the RX-Vision) neatly nestled within. The diffuser element is another new item, less pronounced than what we saw in Tokyo last time.

Inside the driver-focused cabin, Maeda explained the Vision Coupe follows the traditional Japanese architectural concept of ma – “the meticulous use of space to create atmosphere.”

This notion is showcased by the intentional use of spaces between areas such as the instrument panel, door trim and centre console. This is again representative of the minimalistic aesthetic that the brand is moving towards.

Premium materials adorn nearly every surface of the cabin, which is also devoid of a large number of switchgear. This is because most of the car’s functions are accessed via a wide touchscreen display on the dashboard, which Mazda says enhances the bond between driver and car helps express the Jinba-ittai experience.