Mazda officially unveils the Minagi SUV Concept

Article by Christian Andrei, on January 19, 2011

Yesterday we showed the leaked images of the new Mazda concept, but the Japanese manufacturer decided to release today the first images and details with its new Minagi SUV Concept.

According to Mazda, the new Minagi Concept showcases its all-new SKYACTIV technologies and a new design theme, KODO – Soul of Motion. As expected, the car previews firm’s upcoming next-generation products and symbolises the evolution of the Mazda brand for a new era.

The car is powered by a SKYACTIV engine and features a SKYACTIV transmission fitted to a SKYACTIV body and chassis. The new SKYACTIV technology promises to deliver outstanding environmental and safety performance.

“Minagi’s KODO design evokes a powerful and emotive sense of pent-up energy and vitality – helping the vehicle stand out in a sprawling urban cityscape.” stated the press release.

The new concept previews a new crossover which will be named CX-5, according to the latest rumors and will be offered in Europe as well as on the European market. Other sources, confirmed the fact that the new car will use a modified Mazda3 platform.

Pent-up energy is a good term to describe the stylish expression of the Mazda Minagi. In Japanese, the name brings to mind an image of an object that is just throbbing with energy. This echoes perfectly the agility, spirited character and speed of the vehicle.

In creating the Minagi, designers at Mazda took inspiration from cheetahs and how they search for prey. They found out that the cheetah generally put its head high with the powerful, supple, and long limbs managing to hold the lean upper body vertically to allow it to change direction fast even when running at high speeds.

The designers want to evoke that period when the cheetah starts to contract its muscles and prepare to dash and pounce on the prey. Since the cheetah can usually pounce in any direction, the crossover SUV is designed to be agile and to have the ability to weave through a sprawling urban landscape.

This compact crossover SUV is indeed urban-friendly and mixes an exhilarating performance with emotional design. The Minagi is the first-ever concept car to have the company’s SkyActiv technologies.

It is also the first to exhibit the 'KODO - Soul of Motion' design. The Minagi is therefore the example of the company’s next generation of products, which include a compact crossover SUV designed for urban travellers but combined with an emotional design, driving pleasure and amazing safety performance and environmental features.

It showcases the ability of immediately taking action and going in any direction. Overall, the KODO design elements and SkyActiv technologies used by the Minagi display pulsating energy and the agility to move freely. Viewed from the outside, the Minagi has a crouched stance that evokes images of a cheetah standing, balanced on its hind legs, and all ready to jump at the prey.

For most SUVs, the cargo bay often looks as if a vehicle is wearing its own backpack. For the Minagi, it is different as it conveys the appearance of a muscular entity that manages to incorporate the spaciousness it offers with the well-toned lines.

Since the a-pillar was placed in the rear, this highlights the fact that the cabin has a rearward orientation. This is different from the minivans especially with the single-arc silhouette of its frontward A-pillar. The driving position is also emphasized. Unlike conventional SUVs, the cabin has been positioned to be further placed back in relation to its lower body thus highlighting the motion conveyed by the Minagi.

Press Release

Mazda Minagi Concept

The Mazda Minagi concept car embodies Mazda's new SkyActiv technologies and new KODO design language, signaling the way for the next generation of Mazda cars to come.

The Mazda Minagi concept makes its world premiere at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show as the expression of Mazda's new SkyActiv technologies and new KODO design language. It is the first model which showcases characteristics likely to be seen in the next generation of Mazda cars.

For this reason, Mazda has fully incorporated its SkyActiv technologies into every aspect of driving performance, including the powertrain, chassis, and even body design. As the second concept vehicle to incorporate Mazda's new 'KODO - Soul of Motion' design language, Minagi challenges conventions with emotional design and exhilarating performance.

While Shinari was a pure design concept to express the full potential of KODO design, Mazda Minagi gives a glimpse of the next generation of products to come. As the second concept car to adopt Mazda's KODO design theme, Minagi's design elements combine the expression of energy pulsing throughout the vehicle with the keen agility to move about freely and nimbly. With its upright, compact packaging, Mazda Minagi offers a vision of KODO design that is different to Shinari, yet it shares the same sinuous, powerful stance.

"I wanted to convey something different from the Mazda Shinari. I felt a compact crossover SUV was the perfect vehicle to express agility and focused movement; the flexibility of four limbs moving in unison, and an upright posture."

- Masashi Nakayama, Chief Designer, Mazda Minagi Concept

The Mazda Minagi is a stylish expression of pent-up energy. In Japanese, its name conjures up the image of an object pulsating with energy and perfectly reflects the vehicle's speed, agility and spirited character. For Minagi, Mazda designers looked at different aspects of cheetahs as they hunt. A cheetah's head is positioned high, while long, powerful and supple limbs hold its lean torso upright to enable it to change direction quickly at high speed. Mazda's designers set out to evoke the moment when an animal contracts its muscles, ready to sprint and lunge at its prey. Furthermore, such a lunge can be in any direction; an idea which fits with the function of an agile crossover SUV as it nimbly darts through a sprawling cityscape.

Major features of the Mazda Minagi Concept

An urban-friendly compact crossover SUV which combines emotional design with exhilarating performance

Mazda Minagi is the first concept car to fully adopt Mazda's SkyActiv technologies and new 'KODO - Soul of Motion' design and it represents Mazda's next generation of products
Mazda's unique compact crossover SUV for urban explorers fuses emotional design - which conveys a lively ability to quickly leap into action and head in any direction - with the driving pleasure and outstanding environmental and safety performance of SkyActiv technologies
KODO design elements adopted by this compact crossover SUV express pulsating energy and a nimble ability to move about freely
Exterior design

The vehicle's crouched stance expresses the image of a cheetah as it stands with its weight poised on its hind legs, ready to lunge at its prey
The cargo bay of conventional SUVs often resembles a vehicle wearing a backpack, whereas Minagi presents an image of a muscular entity that cleanly incorporates spaciousness within well-toned lines
Placing the A-pillar rearward emphasizes the rearward orientation of the cabin. This stands in sharp contrast to the single-arc silhouette of frontward A-pillar placement on minivans, and emphasizes the driving position - a priority for the design of the Mazda Minagi concept
The cabin's position relative to the lower body is further back than on conventional SUVs. This emphasizes the motion expressed in Minagi's form
Front view

The chromed 'signature wing' on the front fascia, shared with Shinari, makes Minagi immediately recognizable as a Mazda and creates a strong impression
Angling the front grille slightly downwards, while juxtaposing the headlamp housings design to slant upward, creates intensity
Adding more dynamic contours to the prominent front fenders - highly characteristic of Mazda cars - expresses KODO design language's forceful sense of accumulating, then instantly releasing pent-up energy. These elements combine with the dynamic form of the rear fenders further emphasizing the wheels, which form the legs of this predator
Side view

Sculpted lines along the sides of Mazda Minagi's body accentuate a sense of power which suggest the supple strength of a cheetah. These contours extend and connect with the rear fender in an expression which suggests the powerful musculature that joins the cheetah's shoulders and hips to its legs
The overall effect is a graceful and beautiful form which directs the eye from front-to-rear
The character line that flows along the lower part of Minagi's side panels symbolizes KODO's sense of power being accumulated, then quickly released
Rear view

The rear fenders project boldly outward to create a wide, stable stance befitting an SUV
The contrast between the rear fenders and the taut lines of the car's rear end mimics the strong and seductive hip line of a toned athlete
Headlamp design

As with Shinari, the chromed 'signature wing' that sweeps up from the bottom of the front grille disappears into the center of the headlamp housings dramatically
The design of the three-dimensional headlamp and rear combination lamps add a heightened sense of depth
The line of the 'signature wing' element and the headlamp design combine to express the intense look of a wild animal's gaze
Interior design

Mazda's designers set out to realize a driver-focused cockpit and cabin environment that expresses a reassuringly high level of strength and solidity. The interior employs quality materials along with the superior fit and finish of detailed hand craftsmanship
The above features add to the anticipation of the driving pleasure to come by creating a refined and quality cabin environment
The main black interior colour is highlighted by the colour red in the rear seatbacks and at the bottom of the door armrests
Characteristics unique to a compact crossover SUV

Four upright satin chrome struts appear to support the instrument panel, each rising upward in an image of vertical strength which appears to defy gravity, underscoring the impression that Minagi's occupants are securely protected
The design of the instrument cluster and surrounding switches emphasizes the snug, sporty nature of the driver-focused cockpit while expressing Mazda's sporty ethos

Leather seats and door trim have been fashioned using the finest leather available
Skilled craftsmen have carefully sewn the striking raised pleats, a touch that expresses the interior's high level of quality
The 'black smoked' coating on the dark tinted horizontal metal panel - positioned along the center of the instrument panel - shows the high quality of the interior components
Solid metal components, including the door handles, are milled from solid aluminium and carefully polished to provide a smooth, quality-enhancing surface. The door levers are designed to resemble the beauty and functionality of high-end racing bicycle components, and provide a level of quality that ensures they are a pleasure to use

Topics: mazda, concept

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