Many were hoping, wishing, praying that 2017’s Tokyo Motor Show would debut the long-awaited follow-up to the RX-7: Mazda’s much-loved rotary-engined modern classic.
No such luck this time. Instead, the Japanese car maker opted to show off two highly impressive concepts that provide heavy clues to what future Mazda models may look and feel like.
The first is the Vision Coupe. This arty and elegant design study is the sole work of Mazda’s design boss Ikuo Maeda.
With no engineers involved, it is purely aesthetic, allowing Mr Maeda to do what he will and without any obstacles or rules, he’s come up with a real feast for the eyes.
Maeda settled on the design for this sleek two-door after making ten sculptures and scale models, as well as several full-size clays over a two-year process. Usually, a concept car is thrown together in under 12 months.
The Vision Coupe’s exterior employs Mazda’s Kodo – Soul of Motion design language, which follows a minimalist Japanese aesthetic to achieve a simple one-motion form that aims to convey a sense of speed.
Inside, the cabin applies the concept of ‘ma’ from traditional Japanese architecture (translation: “space”). This means it combines three-dimensional depth with a strong longitudinal axis to produce a relaxed space while maintaining the feeling of motion.
The next Mazda 3?
The other concept on Mazda’s Tokyo stand is the Kai, a five-door hatchback that suggests what we can expect when the new Mazda 3 when it goes on sale in 2019.
It features an evolution of the brand’s Skyactiv-X petrol engine and a more mature expression of the Kodo design language, with muscular, solid proportions and a delicate flow of reflections over the sides of the body.
Mazda says that compared to the current Mazda 3, it is considerably quieter, more comfortable ride and enhanced performance, thanks to refinement in all areas.
The 45th Tokyo Motor Show is open to the public from 28 October to 5 November.