Mazda has been releasing a series of concept cars over the past few years, each exploring a unique motion inspired approach to sculpting the surface of the exterior body. The themes have also all contained distinctly Japanese references. The fourth car called the Taiki is about to be formally unveiled later this month at the 40th Tokyo Motor Show. The challenge to create “a design that visually expresses the flow of air” was inspired by the image of a pair of Hagoromo – the flowing robes that enable a celestial maiden to fly in Japanese legend – floating down from the sky. The most dramatic part of the design is the tapered body section that flows around the rear wheels.
Other cars in the series such as the Ryuga, drew inspiration from the raked pebbles in a Japanese dry garden.
The Taiki is intended to be an environmentally friendly vehicle controlling carbon emmisions with power coming from the next-generation RENESIS (rotary engine 16X). Mazda originally debuted the RENESIS in 2003 touting it’s higher power output with reduced fuel consumption and emissions. The engine has since won several engineering awards. Much of the styling of the Taiki probably won’t see production but the new RENESIS is destined for showrooms.