All of Mazda’s recent family of concept cars were lined up in chronological order on their stand at Tokyo, culminating with the latest addition, which was also one of the stars of the show. Nagaré, Ruyga, Hakaze (A&D no. 163) and now Taiki are products of a prolific 12 months in terms of concept cars, which the Japanese carmaker has decided to conclude on home turf.

The first was presented at Los Angeles in November 2006, the second at Detroit in January and the third at Geneva in March 2007. After a few months’ pause for reflection, the Taiki represents the essence of all the themes explored in the guise of an extreme yet environmentally friendly sports car.

When we spoke with Atsuhiko Yamada, manager and chief designer of Mazda’s Yokohama Advanced Design studio, by the car in Tokyo, the first thing he mentioned was the empirical, tangible nature of the study stage to identify the predominant theme of the project.

“Our work in recent years has been centred on the idea of flow, and on the stylistic themes associated with its various forms. Water, air and even the plates of the earth’s crust move in flows which have their own unique outlines, dynamics and speeds.
With the Taiki, which means ‘atmosphere’ in Japanese, the starting element was the shape of air flows. I asked my team to come up with visible, tangible representations for something that is otherwise invisible.”

The article continues in Auto & Design no. 168

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