Later this month, denizens of that placeless cyberplace, Second Life, will get a sneak preview of Mazda's Hakaze concept car, ahead of its debut in three dimensions at the Geneva show. Mazda's following the lead of Toyota's Scion, which has been running 3D campaigns in Second Life since August, 2006. Scion also plans to launch its xD and redesigned xB there (is there a "there"?), simultaneously with the cars' unveiling at the Chicago show this week. Mazda's created a place called Nagare Island, presumably as a venue in which to highlight its current design concepts. We just wonder if it'll be inhabited by sharp-elbowed French photographer avatars, just like Geneva. We'll see.

Press Release:

Mazda Hakaze Design Concept to be Launched at Second LifeTM

Leverkusen, 06th February 2007. Mazda's latest concept car Mazda Hakaze will soon be driving through cyberspace on Nagare Island at Second LifeTM and Mazda Motor Europe wants you to join in the fun.

Mazda Hakaze expresses an exciting new design language called Nagare (pronounced na-ga-reh), created by Mazda's new global design director, Laurens van den Acker. It was designed at Mazda's European Design Centre near Frankfurt, Germany, and is the third concept to be shown this auto show season - following Mazda Nagare (shown at the LA Auto Show this past November) and Mazda Ryuga (shown at the Detroit Motor Show just one month ago).

"Nagare is about expressing motion, energy and beauty, in ways that people connect with, and Second Life is one of the Internet's best interactive venues," said van den Acker. "Of course we love the idea of giving people the chance to connect with and drive our latest concept - virtually, rather than in reality, of course."

In 2003, the US company LindenLab created Second LifeTM, a virtual 3-D continent that now has about 3 million inhabitants from around the globe. It is one of the fastest-growing "countries" in cyberspace and boasts an average of 15,000 users at any given moment. You can find more details at


"Mazda Hakaze and Second Life are a perfect match," says Peter Birtwhistle, Chief Designer at Mazda Motor Europe. "Hakaze is a cool, compact crossover with roadster feel, and Nagare Island will be a great place for people to do a

virtual drive and just chill out with others. And there are several exciting surprises in store as well."

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We invite you to join the exclusive press launch of the Mazda Hakaze in cyberspace on 15 February 2007, 17h00 CET, Nagare Island, Second LifeTM. (An advance reservation with your Second LifeTM user name, media name and contact information is required until 12 February 10h00 CET via Nagare Island and the Mazda Hakaze will be available to all residents of Second LifeTM later the same day, beginning at 18h30 CET.


Geneva Pre-Show: Mazda Reveals Hakaze Concept; Scion xD, Next-Gen xB Coming to Chicago, Virtual Reality [internal]