Mazda has announced it will wheel out two new concept cars at this year’s Tokyo Motor Show, with one showcasing a sleek, low-roofed sedan that hints at the next-generation Mazda 6 and the other foretelling the Mazda 3 hatch’s replacement.
Both flaunt the latest interpretation of Mazda’s Kodo design language, with smooth surfacing and taut curves that also recall the RX-Vision concept that was revealed at the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show.
From some angles, it’s a case of subtle evolution – the tail lights and C-pillar treatment on the hatchback concept, dubbed the “product concept model” for now, are identifiably ‘Mazda3’ in their shape and positioning. At the front of the same concept, however, the car sports slim headlamp housing and a sharp sharkmouthed grille opening.
The chrome bar that wraps under the grille of present-gen Mazda 3s also appears to have extended beneath the headlamps as well – a design trait first seen on the RX-Vision concept.
Mazda isn’t describing it as such, but the proportions and design of the “product concept” points toward it being the basis of the next Mazda 3. With the Mazda 3 that’s currently on sale having launched in 2013, expect the Tokyo Show car to morph into something more production-ready next year before launching globally in 2019.
Mazda also confirmed that the Tokyo hatch concept will be built upon the company’s newest SkyActiv chassis architecture and be powered by its revolutionary SkyActiv-X compression-ignition engin– both of which are on track for a 2019 production debut.
The “design vision model” that will sit alongside it is a little more forward-looking than that. But as a four-door sedan it flaunts design elements that wouldn’t look out of place on the next generation of Mazda 6.
With a short rear deck, elongated bonnet and pumped rear wheelarches it certainly looks more athletic – and rear-driven - than Mazda’s current mid-sizer, but remember that the Mazda Shinari concept of 2010 sported similar proportions.
Mazda will also show off its diesel-powered CX-8 three-row SUV, while a special-edition MX-5 with a red canopy and auburn leather interior will be the other Tokyo debut for Mazda. Expect more information to be revealed when the doors open at Tokyo on October 25.