Mazda has unveiled a compact SUV crossover concept at the Moscow show called Kazamai, meaning 'crosswinds', which closely follows the company's Nagare 'flow' design philosophy.
According to Mazda, it was the booming Russian market (now second largest in Europe, behind Germany) that inspired the Kazamai and its environmentally-focused design. It features a flat floor panel, rear diffuser and a low roof line to improve aerodynamic performance. Aluminium is used to reduce the weight of the bonnet, chassis and engine block with plastics for the panels, fenders and engine cover, which helps fuel economy and lowers CO2
There's already talk about the Kazamai's powertrain, the next-generation 2.0-litre direct-injection petrol engine already under development by the company's engineers. This unit has combustion control technology and variable valve control that deliver strong torque throughout the rev-range for better engine response as well as improved fuel economy. Power would be transmitted through a lightweight six-speed dual-clutch transmission with four-wheel drive. Mazda estimates that this solution would deliver a 30 percent improvement in fuel consumption and emissions over the current 2.0-litre unit.
Inside the Kazamai, designers aimed to create a feeling of one-with-the-machine as well as good all-round visibility and ease-of-use. Another addition to the Kazamai is a security system that monitors the area around and inside the car, informing the driver in the event of an emergency to help protect both the owner and occupants.
The body design when viewed from the side is quite sleek and forward-facing; the Japanese company says it's meant to evoke the image of an arrow cutting through the air. Particularly attractive are the side panels that are said to represent crosswinds, accentuating the environmental and 'light' purpose of this car. The wheels continue this crosswind motif with twisted spokes providing a sense of movement.
It's thought that, though the concept is too far-fetched for production, it previews a possible new sporty compact SUV to sit below the Mazda CX-7
in the range.
Dejan Jovanovic - 26 Aug 2008