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Inside Mazda

Breathing Life Into Cars Through Artful Design

Unrestrained by convention and with an eagerness to design with purpose, Mazda’s designers are given the freedom to create true works of art. These designers are relentless in their pursuit of beauty—a quest for alluring simplicity that ties back to the company’s roots in Japanese design.

These aesthetic values are held to the utmost importance, as they reflect each vehicle’s unique personality and purpose. And as each designer puts pen to paper, they set out to inspire and cultivate a connection between driver and car. They believe that artful design, honed through decades of passion and expertise, should be held at the highest regard.

“In Japan, we feel that craftsmen inject life into what they make, so objects that receive the love and caring attention of these craftsmen have a vital force, a soul,” said Ikuo Maeda, head of global design and brand style at Mazda. “As we are a Japanese car company, we believe when a form is sincerely and painstakingly sculpted by human hands it receives a soul.”


The all-new Mazda3 brings to life the next generation of Mazda’s KODO Design through sense of elegance and sophistication. In designing the hatchback and sedan versions of the car, the development teams were inspired to design each with the energy each vehicle portrays.

Both models feature an extremely simple “single motion” to their overall form. From the way light and shadows shift, and reflections move over the body, the designs produce a highly vital and dramatic expression that go beyond previous iterations.

“This is the introduction of the next generation of our KODO Design,” said Dino Bernacchi, chief marketing officer at Mazda North American Operations. “Launching the brand into the next phase of our journey to premium. Ultimately, this design language will be shared by the rest of the Mazda lineup.”

Although the cars share the same nameplate, each communicates a design aesthetic that’s unique to its personality. The hatchback presents a powerful and seductive look with lasting visual appeal that evokes a sense of exciting experiences to come. In contrast, the clean, sleek and sophisticated beauty of the sedan speaks of maturity and refinement. The result is two body types with personalities so distinct one might even think they were completely different models.

“If you look at the reflection of light on the body, you can see that a lot of the reflections are directional and some of them form a relaxed s-line on the side,” said Julien Montousse, senior director, Mazda Design Americas. “It’s not mathematically perfect; it’s human.”