We get up close and personal with the concept stars of Geneva 2018.
Mazda builds absolutely stunning concept cars, and you need to see them in the flesh to fully appreciate that fact. Fortunately we did just that last week at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show where had the chance to catch up with Mazda Europe Design Director Kevin Rice. As you’re about to see in our video walk around tour and interview, Rice is more than happy to explain all of the wonderful little details of both the Kai Concept and the Vision Coupe Concept.
Speaking of which, the latter took home the coveted “Concept Car of the Year” at Geneva’s Car Design Night ceremony, beating out all of the industry heavyweights, such as Ferrari, Lamborghini, Volkswagen, and everyone else nominated.
Only a month ago, it was also named “Most Beautiful Concept Car of the Year” at the 2018 Festival Automobile International in Paris. The Vision Coupe is part of the next evolutionary step of Mazda’s Kodo design language. Kodo means “Soul of Emotion,” and one of the key differences of Mazda design and every other design company's, according to Rice, “Is not the designers who start the design process, (but) our sculptors. Having decided over the last five years how Kodo will go forward, we’ve worked with artists and fashion designers to understand what emotional input they put into their artwork. Having seen that, we believe they have like a telepathy with the materials they use.”
The sculptors don’t create the car itself, but rather “a visual of the emotion.” One result is the sculpture you see displayed next to the concept. In fact, Mazda designers spent two years sculpting this concept’s body. But what exactly does the Vision Coupe Concept preview? The next Mazda6 sedan? That’s a fair assumption, as Rice explained this concept shows Mazda elegance, whereas the Kai shows Mazda sensuality. “Kodo design will go in these two different directions in every new Mazda between the two. You won’t have to wait too long before seeing the latest Kodo generation. In fact, the latest Mazda6 already has a new interior that follows the simplicity and purity direction of Kodo.”
Rice also very strongly indicated that the Kai Concept is a direct preview of the next Mazda3. “In the not too distant future you will see a brand new model, unfortunately I can’t tell you which one, but you can have a look at the show and make your own judgement at what that possibly could be,” Rice added as he gestured towards the Kai. Mazda design definitely has very unique methods when formulating the look and feel of its cars, and these two concepts are the result. We can’t wait to see how this all translates to production.