The all-new Mazda Mazda5 that will debut at the Geneva Auto Show in March is, says Mazda, “an emotional design.” We can’t argue with that. What’s going to be a bigger stretch is whether it has what Mazda calls a blending of “elegance with a dynamic spirit”. What is overwhelmingly certain is that the Mazda5, which is the first full expression of Mazda’s Nagare design will be polarizing.
As might be expected, first photos released today show the new Mazda Mazda5 has the giant grin of a grille flanked by the large “air scoops” from the Mazda3. However, the Mazda5 gains not only a ridge flowing down either side (“nagare,” after all, means “flow” in Japanese) but also a pair of “ripples” beneath that primary ridge. We boldly predict that will not be uniformly considered beautiful.
The new Mazda Mazda5 will be the first full expression of the Nagare design concept, expressed in a number of Mazda concept vehicles, though hinted with the Mazda MX-5 Miata and further expressed in the grilles of the Mazda CX-7 and Mazda Mazda3.
Fortunately, the Mazda Mazda5 is reported to have excellent aerodynamic and lift characteristics.
The new Mazda5 is more than just a new design, however. Mazda says the new Mazda5 will continue the current model’s dual sliding rear doors. Multiple seating arrangement will include a “karakuri” second-row center seat that can be converted to a versatile storage space. Mazda didn’t translate karakuri for us but we’ll bet it’s something good.
We’ve also been assured that, ” With a sportier and smoother ride, the new Mazda5 responds precisely to the driver’s commands, enabling the whole family to travel in comfort and security.”
When the Mazda Mazda5 is introduced in Europe in fall, 2010, a 2.0-liter direct-injection engine with i-stop, which turns off the engine when the Mazda5 stops and automatically restarts the engine to drive away. A six-speed manual will be standard equipment. Mazda says the new engine cuts CO2 emissions by fifteen percent, which should also translate as a similar fuel mileage increase. Other engines will be available in Europe as well.
Further details aren’t available at this time, including when the new Mazda Mazda5 might arrive in the U.S., although as a 2011 model in 2011 is a good prognostication, though there’s no need to get emotional about it.
Illustration: Mazda Mazda5 to be introduced at 2010 Geneva Auto Show; photo credit Mazda Motor Corp.
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