This is my first public try at critiquing a concept car design so here goes.
The Mazda Taiki blew my mind when it first came out in 2007. This was the fourth concept of the Nagare series (Nagare meaning “flow”). The previous versions certainly had the conceptual part figured out, but this is where the designers really got unhinged in what a vehicle and its interior should look like.
In a car-world where many designs embrace a teutonic flavor (think Mercedes, VW, etc), this definitely stands out. Seeing an “organic” or free-flowing exterior and interior (as the name would suggest) is a refreshing thing. I love the fact that I can’t decide whether the design was dictated by aerodynamics or by the whim of a junior designer high on marker pens. Maybe it was both.
I know this: The more the design, aerodynamics, engineering, and all the other factors are integrated, the better the design is.
This design appeals to me because of those reasons. And I think its a good image for Mazda to create for itself. Despite being under the Ford Umbrella, it has remained an fairly individual force, with its own creativity and character. I hope that Mazda’s future retains this as it develops its design language.