One of the most powerful ways a designer can create emotion is through color, and there is no bolder color in the palette than red. Deep inside our subconscious, red symbolizes passion, aggressiveness and importance – fitting for any of the vehicles in Mazda’s lineup.
But not just any red will bring to life the beauty and sophistication of the Mazda lineup. Soul Red Crystal expresses vibrancy and energy with an increased depth and gloss, while exemplifying the beauty and sophistication of Kodo—Soul of Motion design.
“Color design and form have to work together,” said Teresa Spafford, design manager for colors, materials and finishes, and advanced design planning at Mazda North American Operations. “There needs to be harmony between them. Color design and paint formulation can actually hide designers’ subtle work. Mazda is at its best in controlling that motion and color and seeing the design come out.”
With 20-percent greater color saturation and 50-percent more depth than its predecessor, Soul Red Crystal adds another level of vividness and allure to an already stunning paint choice. But to achieve this new paint, a new process was necessary.
The paint is applied in a three-step process that combines high-quality techniques and enhanced attention to detail. Soul Red Crystal features extremely thin aluminum flakes, all made to a uniform size. The consistency of the paint was enhanced and contributes to a uniform coat. Mazda also looked to reduce the time it takes for the paint to dry; a technique was implemented to shrink the volume of the paint, which contributes to a decrease in carbon emissions and a quicker paint job.
Mazda’s innovation doesn’t end with the paint, they have also developed one of the most environmentally friendly automotive painting systems in the world, thanks to Aqua-tech and its innovative Takuminuri painting techniques
The Aqua-tech Paint System uses a water-based paint and application technique that in turn reduces the length of the painting process. In doing so, it reduces high volatile organic compounds by 78 percent and carbon emissions by 17 percent.
“As an automaker, we have an obligation to not only make high-quality vehicles, but also reduce our impact on the environment,” said Kiyotaka Shobuda, senior managing executive officer at Mazda Corporation. “Our painting technologies, which have helped Kodo design gain recognition worldwide, represent Mazda’s efforts to meet that obligation.”
This attention to continuous improvement is also reflected in paint application. Takuminuri painting techniques are used to apply clear, translucent and reflective coats in a simple three-layer structure. The result is a rich, high-quality paint that looks like it has been hand-sprayed by a master craftsman.
“Moving forward,” Shobuda said, “we’ll continue to develop innovative technologies, provide customers around the world with high-quality cars, contribute both to preserving the environment and enriching society.”
Mazda’s Kodo—Soul of Motion design language aims to invoke strong emotions, and Mazda designer’s mastery of complex body colors that defy convention will continue to bring to life the beauty and sophistication of its cars.