Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Mazda city car quick on the draw

Meet Mazda’s new baby! These are the first official sketches of the firm’s forthcoming city car – which will be revealed in concept form at the Paris Motor Show in October.

Likely to be badged Mazda 1 when it goes on sale in late 2009, the urban runabout will rival the Volkswagen up! and Toyota’s iQ.

As you can see from these drawings, it’s the first model to bring the design themes showcased by the company’s Nagare concept to reality. The sporty look of the 2 supermini is evolved with a taller roofline to boost headroom, but key details including dramatic slashes in the bodywork and short overhangs are retained.

The city car concept is likely to feature Perspex panels, plus sliding side doors and seats, which will increase practicality, too.

Peter Birthwhistle, chief designer at Mazda’s European Research and Development Centre, said: “The finished article will be even more radical than the car seen here. It will be aimed at young people and feature the likes of iPod connectivity, sat-nav and Blue- tooth. It will be environmentally friendly, and weigh as little as possible.”

The concept is likely to be powered by a combination of fuel cells and batteries. The firm will also reveal a new 4x4 at the Moscow Motor Show in August, based on Ford’s Kuga, which could make its way here. And it is working on an RX-7 replacement that also follows the Nagare design theme.

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