Ikuo Maeda Discusses RX-VISION’s Design
Representative Director, Masamichi Kogai introduced the RX-VISION, a concept model that symbolizes Mazda’s vision for the future. At its heart will be a rotary engine, a technology that can be said to encapsulate Mazda’s philosophy of “Be a driver”, and this new engine has been labeled the SKYACTIV-R. It has yet to be mentioned how much displacement this new SKYACTIV-R is expected to produce, nor whether it will utilize forced induction.
MZRacing had the opportunity to talk with Mazda General Manager, Design Div., Ikuo Maeda, who embodies the company’s themes and concepts, and asked him about the design concept of the RX-VISION.
Mr. Maeda stated that he essentially set out to design a sports car that he himself wanted to drive. Giving consideration to the super-sports car genre, he set out with the aim of bringing the car up one or two classes and, with that in mind, he settled on the car’s current size. Mr. Maeda began by saying, “In terms of the design, we wanted to make a sexy car. A sexy and glossy machine. To cut to the point, we were aiming for a clean, beautiful sports car. The RX-VISION is a straight representation of what we wanted to express.” Compared to existing rotary sports cars, this vehicle comes closer to the super-sports genre. The RX-VISION exists on the same level as sports cars such as the Chevrolet Corvette, Lotus Evora, and Alfa Romeo 8C. In line with existing modern sports cars it appears that the vehicle height has been set quite low.
Maeda continued, “While designing a car with super-sports attributes, we also aimed to accomplish a form that gave an agile, lightweight impression. To design a car that gives the unyielding impression of a super-sports car, you need to create a cool and calm exterior that simultaneously gives an unmistakable sense of power. As a designer, in the course of whittling down the design, that sense of tension was created almost spontaneously and we wanted to emphasize that.” As the first rotary sports car concept to come out for some time, and one that is set to take up the position of Mazda’s flagship car at that, rather than stick with the traditional compact size, this new machine has been designed with a large body frame.
Maeda went on, “The RX-VISION signifies a new phase in Mazda’s design. It is the next step in the company’s evolution. “Kodo: Soul of Motion” design is themed around giving life to the form of the car. The Mazda KOERU acts as the SUV equivalent of this “Kodo” design. Generationally speaking it is a product of its time. Speaking of generations, the Cosmo Sport is also on display at this exhibition. Previous rotary sports designs, from the first RX-7s onwards, essentially had their canopies riding on the lower waistline, from the bonnet to the rear deck, a design that does not have the body’s entire movement going through the wheels. This time around we wanted to unify these elements. By doing this, the lack of separation increases the stability of the car’s entire form.” Incidentally, the red color of the body is not, in fact, soul-red premium metallic, but rather a glossier, deeper color that further signifies the car’s evolution.
Maeda added one last comment, “Being a sports car, we are aiming for further weight reduction, so don’t be surprised if we chip away at the body a little more.”
The Tokyo Motor Show is open to the public from October 30th (Fri) to November 8th (Sun). The RX-VISION is on display in the Mazda booth located in the West Hall.
Photo by MZRacing, Mazda