Automotive

Mazda Kai Concept unveiled in Tokyo as a smooth-sculpted Mazda3

Mazda Kai Concept unveiled in ...
Mazda says that the Kai embodies the company's next-gen SKYACTIV-Vehicle Architecture platform and the newest SKYACTIV-X gasoline engine family
Mazda says that the Kai embodies the company's next-gen SKYACTIV-Vehicle Architecture platform and the newest SKYACTIV-X gasoline engine family
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The compact hatchback Kai Concept features a long hood with a sizeable overhang and signature Mazda grille
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The compact hatchback Kai Concept features a long hood with a sizeable overhang and signature Mazda grille
The Kai Concept’s interior is as flowing and beautiful as the exterior
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The Kai Concept’s interior is as flowing and beautiful as the exterior
Renderings of the Kai Concept showed a fast-paced, low-roofed car with a definite speedy quality about its look
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Renderings of the Kai Concept showed a fast-paced, low-roofed car with a definite speedy quality about its look
Mazda says that the Kai embodies the company's next-gen SKYACTIV-Vehicle Architecture platform and the newest SKYACTIV-X gasoline engine family
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Mazda says that the Kai embodies the company's next-gen SKYACTIV-Vehicle Architecture platform and the newest SKYACTIV-X gasoline engine family
We note the lack of provision for an infotainment screen and several missing controls that would go along with that in this rendering of the Kai Concept's interior
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We note the lack of provision for an infotainment screen and several missing controls that would go along with that in this rendering of the Kai Concept's interior
Renderings of the Kai Concept and the physical version shown in Tokyo are very similar at the rear
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Renderings of the Kai Concept and the physical version shown in Tokyo are very similar at the rear
Beautiful as the Kai Concept is, we can see some things that would change in production like the razor-thin side mirrors and the narrow rear glass and thick rear pillars
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Beautiful as the Kai Concept is, we can see some things that would change in production like the razor-thin side mirrors and the narrow rear glass and thick rear pillars
Airy comfort seems to be the primary ideal behind the Kai Concept's interior design
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Airy comfort seems to be the primary ideal behind the Kai Concept's interior design
The dashboard in the Kai Concept is lifted up and away from the driver and front passenger, and is styled in a way similar to the current Mazda cars, but with a little more curvature
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The dashboard in the Kai Concept is lifted up and away from the driver and front passenger, and is styled in a way similar to the current Mazda cars, but with a little more curvature
The sculpted rear end of the Kai Concept is very nice to look at, with a flowing quality not often seen in the rear quarter of today's designs
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The sculpted rear end of the Kai Concept is very nice to look at, with a flowing quality not often seen in the rear quarter of today's designs
This interior rendering of the Kai Concept shows the driver's instrumentation more clearly
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This interior rendering of the Kai Concept shows the driver's instrumentation more clearly
The Kai Concept has a new SKYACTIV-Vehicle Architecture, but Mazda has not given much information on this platform
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The Kai Concept has a new SKYACTIV-Vehicle Architecture, but Mazda has not given much information on this platform
The Kai Concept's new SKYACTIV-Vehicle Architecture further refines the human-machine aim of the platform
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The Kai Concept's new SKYACTIV-Vehicle Architecture further refines the human-machine aim of the platform
Under the Mazda Kai Concept's hood is the latest SKYACTIV-X engine design, which combines the properties of diesel and gasoline combustion engines into one
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Under the Mazda Kai Concept's hood is the latest SKYACTIV-X engine design, which combines the properties of diesel and gasoline combustion engines into one
The reflective lines hidden in the Mazda Kai Concept's bodywork are illustrated in this higher view, where reflections change through perspective
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The reflective lines hidden in the Mazda Kai Concept's bodywork are illustrated in this higher view, where reflections change through perspective
Mazda says its new SKYACTIV designs for the Kai Concept make it far more powerful and efficient
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Mazda says its new SKYACTIV designs for the Kai Concept make it far more powerful and efficient

Mazda unveiled a four-door hatchback concept in Tokyo and it's what the next-generation Mazda3 needs to look like. The Kai Concept is a saloonish design with smooth, buttery lines as a new generation of Mazda's KODO design language.

The compact hatchback concept features a long hood with a sizable overhang and signature Mazda grille. The sculpted hood curves upward to the steeply-raked windscreen which flows into a rounded roofline that fastbacks to the rear. Smooth body lines and a narrow greenhouse create a speedy look and the rear wheels, pushed to the outer edge, bulge with their fenders to create muscularity at the back.

Beautiful as it is, however, we can see some things that would change in production. Namely the razor-thin side mirrors and the tiny view that would be afforded through them, as well as the narrow rear glass and thick rear pillars.

The Kai Concept's interior, so far as we can see, is as flowing and beautiful as the exterior. The dashboard is lifted up and away from the driver and front passenger, and is styled in a way similar to the current Mazda cars, but with a little more curvature and better division between upper and lower elements. We note that there is no clear space for an infotainment screen, but instrumentation is clearly defined and common knobs for vehicle function are clearly seen in the renderings.

Beautiful as the Kai Concept is, we can see some things that would change in production like the razor-thin side mirrors and the narrow rear glass and thick rear pillars
Beautiful as the Kai Concept is, we can see some things that would change in production like the razor-thin side mirrors and the narrow rear glass and thick rear pillars

Mazda says that the Kai also embodies the company's next-gen SKYACTIV-Vehicle Architecture platform and the newest SKYACTIV-X gasoline engine family. The new vehicle architecture is an evolution of the current SKYACTIV design. Mazda has not given much information on this platform, but says that it further refines the human-machine aim of the concept. It aims to balance the human body at all times, making the car feel integral rather than separate. Redesigned seating that force an upright pelvic center to support the spine is one aspect. Multi-directional ring structures in the body framing and more controlled energy transfers in the chassis help smooth out the drive. All of this plus other changes improve noise, vibration, and harshness (NVH) from the car.

The SKYACTIV-X is a continuation of Mazda's diesel-style gasoline engines with high compression and its latest spark controlled compression ignition (SPCCI). This will make the new SKYACTIV-X the first commercial gasoline engine to use compression ignition, Mazda says. This will improve torque output and engine response. The video below visualizes this.

Mazda has not said whether the Kai Concept will become a production unit, but it does point towards where the carmaker is headed in terms of compact vehicles for the near-future.

Source: Mazda

Next Generation Gasoline Engine SKYACTIV-X: SPCCI / 次世代ガソリンエンジンSKYACTIV-X: SPCCI

4 comments
TJG
I think those "razor-thin side mirrors" are rear view cameras.
Xanshin
I can't fit in any of the current Mazdas. Figure out how to get a 2m person behind the wheel- and more importantly under the headliner- and I'll buy it!
Tom Lee Mullins
I think that is a neat little car.
fen
"We note the lack of provision for an infotainment screen and several missing controls that would go along with that in this rendering of the Kai Concept's interior" The infotainment screen stretches the full length of the dash. It looks like it has a dark pattern on it when not in use. But in pic 11 you can see infotainment on the screens to the left of the instrument cluster. The side mirrors are also cameras, there is a screen to the right of the steering wheel for it. Looks cool that it blends in so well.