Soulful: Mazda Shinari Concept Features New 'Kodo' Design Theme
The Shinari concept is a sporty five-door with a coupe-like profile created through a collaborative effort by Mazda's U.S., German, and Japanese design studios. The car was unveiled at a press event near Milan, Italy.
In Japanese, kodo means "soul of motion" (thankfully not "thrusting motion"), an apt description of the Shinari's sleek lines, absent the flowing strakes of the Nagare theme. While Mazda executives were mum as to when the Kodo styling language will make its production debut, they indicated that the design will influence future production Mazdas. The Japanese automaker also released more details of its new multi-purpose platform, as well its fuel efficient Sky diesel and gas engines and a new six-speed automatic transmission.
Powering the vehicles based on the new platform will be a set of Sky engines, the first iterations of which Mazda showed at the 2009 Tokyo Motor Show. Mazda is still closely guarding the details of the engines, a diesel (Sky-D) and gasoline (Sky-G) that are rumored to feature unusual engineering solutions.
The Sky-G engine, a normally aspirated 2.0-liter I-4, will reportedly beat Mazda's current gasoline I-4 engines in both fuel economy and torque by at least 15 percent. There are a few more details on the diesel Sky-D engine, a 2.2-liter, turbocharged I-4. It features optimized fuel injection, a two-stage turbocharging system, and a revised combustion chamber to deliver a 20-percent improvement in fuel economy over Mazda's current diesel I-4. Better yet, both engines meet 2020 global emissions regulations, and the diesel does so without using exhaust after-treatments. Both engines will be available with the new "Sky-Drive" six-speed automatic, optimized by reducing internal friction, modifying the torque converter, and changing the programming for when it locks up.
In addition to introducing a new design theme, platform, and powertrains, Mazda says it will introduce better interiors in its future products.
"We want to play in the same group as BMW and Audi," Derek Jenkins, director of design for Mazda North America, told Automotive News. "On fit-and-finish we want the same level of quality."