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Inside Mazda

The Evolution of KODO Design Through Concept Cars

Mazda’s KODO — Soul of Motion design language was first introduced in 2010 with the debut of the Mazda CX-5. Since then, the full Mazda lineup has adopted the design language, all the way from MX-5 Miata to the CX-9. And today, the all-new Mazda3 hatchback and sedan usher in the latest generation of KODO Design, edifying Mazda’s commitment to Japanese design aesthetics.

Throughout the evolution of KODO Design, Mazda’s designers and engineers set the pace with award-winning concept vehicles that act as a true North Star for the automaker. These concepts give a glimpse on the future design of Mazda vehicles, with most evolving gorgeously into production models. Explore the evolution of Mazda’s KODO Design through Mazda design concept vehicles.


Evolution of Mazda’s KODO Design


SHINARI – 2010

The first KODO Design concept vehicle, the 2010 SHINARI, gave the world visions of an animal ready to pounce, foreshadowing an exciting future for Mazda. The SHINARI design refers to the appearance of person or an animal as it flexibly transforms its body to generate a fast-initial movement, or sudden acceleration, expressing the powerful movement of a lean body with highly developed muscles, supple but at the same time filled with tension.


MINAGI – 2011

The following year, Mazda teased the world with another example of KODO Design – the 2011 MINAGI concept, which later evolved into the production iteration of the CX-5.


TAKERI – 2011

The name TAKERI is derived from a Japanese word meaning ‘masculine’. Evolving from the Mazda SHINARI, Mazda TAKERI exhibits styling that reflects the full nature of a Mazda mid-sized saloon, with striking balance and a masculine sense of power.


KOERU – 2015

The Mazda KOERU demonstrates Mazda’s unique and daring interpretation of a crossover vehicle. Meaning to ‘exceed’ or ‘go beyond’, the KOERU combines power, vitality and refinement.


Mazda RX-VISION Rotary Sports Car Concept

RX-VISION – 2015

RX-VISION represents a vision of the future that Mazda hopes to one day make into reality; a front-engine, rear-wheel drive sports car with exquisite, KODO Design-based proportions only Mazda could envision.

The fine craftsmanship of Mazda’s renowned clay modelers creates reflections that convey motion and thereby capture the spirit of the KODO Design language without relying on character lines or other such elements. It is an elegant and highly vital form that transforms its expression with the slightest change of viewing angle.




The Mazda KAI CONCEPT compact hatchback heralds a new generation of Mazda cars, with a more mature expression of the KODO Design language. The KAI CONCEPT features muscular, solid proportions and its form is brought to life by a delicate flow of reflections over the body sides.


Mazda VISION COUPE Concept Car


The VISION COUPE represents Mazda’s design vision for next-generation models; a more mature expression of KODO applies a Japanese aesthetic to achieve a more elegant and premium styling. The exterior features a ‘one motion’ form that exudes a sense of speed and the interior combines three-dimensional depth with a strong longitudinal axis to create a relaxed space that maintains a sense of speed.