Mazda Shinari Concept: Beauty, Grace, FantasyS

The Mazda Shinari bowed in the folded-and-creased sheet-metal at today's Los Angeles Auto Show, showing off new "KODO" design language that should lead the way for future Mazda vehicles. We still sorta miss Nagare.

Start with the fact that the Shinari was designed as a powerful rear-wheel-drive luxury sedan, a type of vehicle Mazda doesn't build. It suggests a nice starting point for the next generation RX-8, but much of its beauty derives from proportions that won't translate to Mazda's front-wheel-drive cars and crossovers.

Four years ago, Mazda unveiled the Nagare concept car, which eventually led to the beautiful Furai. Neither ever saw production, and Mazda executives later said the design language was simply too complicated to put into production. Aiming a little lower might have made the Shinari more realistic.