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Inside Mazda

Building a Legacy of Award-Winning Design

Mazda’s latest accolades tout design credibility

Mazda first introduced the award-winning KODO—Soul of Motion Design language with the SHINARI concept sedan in 2010. At that time the company sought to put in place an entirely new direction for Mazda vehicle design. Each vehicle was brought to life through a sense of motion and speed, even at a complete standstill.

A Vision into The Future

Stunning the world with its elegance and seductive beauty, the RX-VISION concept car made its world debut at the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show.

The RX-VISION adopted the beautiful proportions of a classically styled sports car, realized as only as Mazda could make it. The styling, while modern, maintained a sense of lineage and authenticity, encapsulating Mazda’s entire history of sports car design.

Gaining accolades around the world, the Mazda RX-VISION added “Most Beautiful Concept Car of the Year” award to its repertoire at the 31st Festival Automobile International in Paris. A triumph for Mazda, this accolade validated Mazda’s next generation of vehicle design.

Furthering an Evolution

Further developing on the design cues set in place by the RX-VISION, Mazda unveiled the next generation of the KODO design language with the VISION COUPE concept model at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show.

“The reflection of light over the surface flows linearly with the movement of the car, creating a vehicle that seems truly alive,” said Ikuo Maeda, global design chief of Mazda Motor Corporation, referring to the Mazda VISION COUPE concept. “The predominant highlight on the body shoulder is strong and sharply-styled, emphasizing a powerful physique, while softer, more elegant light patterns shimmer across the empty spaces extending over the vehicle.”

The VISION COUPE, a large, grand touring vehicle, highlights “Mazda Elegance,” a term used to complement the “Mazda Premium” direction the brand is taking, as it elevates its vehicles and its positioning. “Mazda Elegance” focuses on a less-is-more approach to design, distilling lines to just what is essential, letting the light interplay with the body of the car.


A Double Win for Mazda Design

Celebrating the freshest, most creative and most beautiful concept cars—as chosen by a jury of prominent designers working in fashion, architecture and other industries—The Mazda VISION COUPE was named the “Most Beautiful Concept Car of the Year” at the 33rd Festival Automobile International in Paris; an award earned just two years prior by the RX-VISION. This marks a double victory for the two concept models that are, guiding the design of Mazda’s next-generation vehicles.

VISION COUPE Most Beautiful Concept Car

“What sets Mazda Design apart from other brands is an obsession with ultimate form of beauty,” Maeda said. “I’d say that’s also our strength. We’re obsessed with the power of human hands and artistic forms that can only be shaped by human hands.”

As Mazda’s vehicles, both concept and production, continue to earn distinction and awards around the world, it’s important to remember Mazda’s philosophy behind KODO Design: it’s about creating cars that embody the dynamic beauty of life — cars that visually suggest different expressions of this energy.

“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,” Maeda explained. “As we are a Japanese car company, we believe that a form sincerely and painstakingly made by human hands gets a soul.”