Count one more styling concept among Mazda's latest series. It's the Taiki, and it's set for debut at this month's Tokyo auto show. Taiki is the fourth in a string of concept cars Mazda designers say represent a design theory inspired by organic shapes and patterns of natural motion — sand across a shoreline, water along the ocean floor and lava from a volcano, to cite three examples designers have mentioned in the past. The first three, Nagare, Ryuga and Hakaze, debuted at LA, Detroit and Geneva, respectively. The Taiki, the press kit goes, was inspired by the flowing robes that enable a celestial maiden to fly in Japanese legend. Thus the use of sheetmetal to create a kind of rolling effect, and the multithreaded crease lines that run into a novel, semi-open rear-wheel treatment. Obviously, it's a fashion-forward way of seeing the Mazda brand, which has yet to incorporate these styles into a street model. Just wait, designers say. The Taiki is also sporting Mazda's next-gen RENESIS rotary plant 16X. Click through for official text.
Mazda Taiki reflects one possible direction for a future generation of Mazda sports cars aimed at helping create a sustainable society. The fourth concept car in the Nagare design series, Mazda Taiki further evolves the "flow" theme to establish a breathtaking presence that clearly distinguishes it as the next in the series, and which visually expresses the atmosphere - called taiki in Japanese - that wraps the Earth in its protective mantle. The basic proportions begin with the stretched coupe form of a front-engine rear-wheel-drive layout, the short overhangs, and the liberating feel of an all-glass canopy. 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. Inspired by Japanese koinobori - the decorative "climbing carp streamers"- the notion of creating an Air-tube became the concept word for the interior design. In accordance, from the dashboard and seats down to the door trim, the interior space creates the dynamic sensation that the flow of the wind is being visually depicted. Centering around the performance rotary engine sports packaging that is synonymous with the Mazda name, technologies introduced for the Mazda Taiki include the next-generation RENESIS (rotary engine 16X), which sets new standards for environmental and driving performance, a front-engine rear-drive layout, a unique 2-seat configuration, and Mazda's rotary sports package, which conveys an image of lightness. The effect integrates the design theme perfectly to realize outstanding aerodynamic performance.