Gorgeous Vision Coupe concept is the future for all Mazdas

By topgear, 26 October 2017

It’s a line trotted out constantly by manufacturers in search of a hook for their latest show car. “This model represents the next generation of our company’s design philosophy.” Often it’s a load of old waffle. But when Mazda decides to deploy it, we sit up and listen.

Why? Because ever since it announced a new Kodo design language with the four-door coupe (see a pattern emerging?) Shinari concept in 2010, it’s set about designing one of the most cohesive and consistently handsome range of cars – from MX-5 to CX-5 – anywhere in the industry.

This, then, is Mazda starting again, pressing reset, Kodo design v2.0. It’s a new beginning that seven years hence will produce another litter of Mazdas destined to nip at the heels of bigger-selling, but probably less-talented cars.

It’s drearily named the Mazda Vision Coupe and, my word, it’s a handsome slab of metal. The idea, and bear with me if it gets a bit design fluff here, is that the Vision Coupe “forgoes the rhythmical motion that prior iterations of Kodo design emphasised in body styling”.

It opts instead for a simple form that “strips away all non-essential elements to embody a less-is-more aesthetic”. To you or me, that translates roughly as the current cars are full of lines and a bit fussy; from now on, expect all Mazdas to have fewer creases than Simon Cowell’s face.

What the Vision Coupe also hints at is yet more focus on perfect proportions. According to Mazda, it benefits from the golden ratio for a Mercedes CLS-sized flowing four-door coupe like this – namely a rearward cabin and an outline that suggests forward movement. Some in the Top Gear office saw shades of the yacht-like Mercedes-Maybach 6 concept when they clapped eyes on it. Don’t worry – we’re fans of that too. All good.

But what about 2015’s rotary-engined RX Vision concept, I hear you cry? That showcased a sleek new look for the company two years ago, surely? Well, yes and no. The rear end appears to tally with this new concept, but the front end is now firmly last-gen. A rotary car is still on Mazda’s wish-list, by the way, but on the back burner while the guys attempt to make the sums stack up.

The interior uses the Japanese architectural concept of ma, obvs. “The intentional use of spaces between components such as the instrument panel, door trim and centre console…to encourage the flow of air between them.” Flatulent drivers will be delighted. Mazda also compares the way you touch the centre console to call up info on the display as the way “a rider communicates with a horse by stroking its mane and back”. God bless the Japanese.


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