Mazda Drops Duo of Sexy Concepts; One Hints At the Next 3

Mazda Kai Concept

Mazda is no stranger to creating knockout concepts – witness the Kabura in 2006 and the Shinari a few years later. At this year’s Tokyo Motor Show, though, the Hiroshima designers have outdone themselves with the stunningly beautiful Vision Coupe and Kai concept cars.

Mazda Vision Coupe Concept

Following up on the RX-Vision concept of a couple years ago, the Vision is – despite its coupe moniker – a rakish four-door. Mazda’s KODO design language is in full effect, with deep side scallops and a windshield-to-grille measurement seemingly longer than the entire island of Japan. Despite having four doors, classic coupe proportions are obvious.

Mazda Vision Coupe Concept

Mazda calls the design of the Vision Coupe a mature expression of the KODO language, one which may signal a shift upmarket for some of its products with elegant and premium styling. It is common industry knowledge that Mazda longs to increase its bottom end through a higher average transaction price of its vehicles, rather than more volume. A car like the Vision Coupe would be a big step in that direction.

Mazda Vision Coupe Concept

The interior of the Vision Concept is equally striking and not entirely made of vaporware and moonbeams. A trio of gauges sit ahead of the driver, with an elegant-looking tachometer flanked by two smaller dials, possibly reconfigurable screens. Mazda says this model features a “see-through� screen for driver information, functioning as a display only at those times when it is required, and creating an interior space with great visibility. Okay, then.

Mazda Kai Concept

A bit more grounded in reality is the Kai concept, which stands an excellent chance of pointing the direction towards the next Mazda 3. Featuring all of Mazda’s next-gen Skyactiv technology, the Kai Concept is Hiroshima’s littlest hatch cranked up to eleven.

This author truly believes the current Mazda 3 is one of the best looking small cars on the market. If the next 3 looks anything like the Kai, the compact end of Mazda’s portfolio will become even more attractive.

Mazda Kai Concept

As with the Vision Coupe, the Kai evolves Mazda’s KODO design language, smoothing out some of the current 3’s creases in favor of sweeping body panels, an aggressively forward-canted grille, and very narrow headlights. The Kai’s interior looks largely production-ready as well, featuring Mazda hallmarks like a tachometer placed dead-ahead of the driver and a natty three-spoke steering wheel.

Mazda Kai Concept

Some details will surely be toned down for production once the pencil-necked accounting department gets ahold of the it, but the compact five-door Kai is an excellent starting point for the next 3. As part of Mazda’s “Sustainable Zoom-Zoom 2030� mandate (yes, that’s its real name), we could see a new 3 on North American roads in the latter half of next year as a 2019 model.

The Tokyo Motor Show runs until November 5th.

[Images: Mazda]