Inside Mazda

Mazda MX-5 RF to Feature Machine Gray Premium Color Designed to Complement KODO Design

March 22, 2016

HIROSHIMA, Japan—Mazda Motor Corporation has announced that the Mazda MX-5  RF will be available in Machine Gray, a new premium color designed to accentuate the beauty of vehicle bodies featuring KODO design. Machine Gray is Mazda’s second premium color following Soul Red, which since its launch has come to represent KODO design. Machine Gray will be made available on a wide range of Mazda models, including the all-new Mazda CX-9 due to go on sale in North America this spring.

Mazda believes that color is one of the elements of form, and has focused on developing colors that accentuate the subtle yet dynamic surfacing of KODO design. Machine Gray was developed to express the beauty of a machine’s strength and precision. With strong contrast between light and shadow and a sleek, high-density finish, it gives the impression that the vehicle’s body has been sculpted from a solid steel ingot.

Traditionally, achieving such a finish was only possible with hand-painted concept cars using paint containing extremely thin aluminum flakes applied in multiple layers by master craftsmen. By further developing its TAKUMINURI1 painting technology originally created for Soul Red, Mazda has made it possible to achieve the look on mass-production vehicles using a three-coat paint structure consisting of color, reflective and clear coats.2

The reflective layer contains extremely thin, high-brightness aluminum flakes and must be applied very precisely to ensure even coating. During the drying process the thickness of this layer shrinks to approximately 2.5 microns, about one quarter the thickness of most reflective layers. This causes the aluminum flakes to lie flat with regular spacing between each flake, just as if the layer had been hand-painted by a skilled craftsman. This high-density finish gives the entire surface a sheen when illuminated, for a realistic metallic look. Jet-black pigment is used in both the reflective and color layers and is visible through the spaces between the aluminum flakes giving areas not illuminated a black hue and heightening the contrast between light and shadow.

Aiming to become a brand that has a strong connection with its customers, Mazda will continue to develop new colors and the paint technologies to realize them, based on the belief that color is one of the elements of form.

1   Mazda’s paint technology that gives mass-production vehicles the precise, high-quality finish that looks like it has been hand-painted by a master craftsman.

2   Does not included the electrodeposited layer.

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