Many concept cars steal the limelight with outrageous performance claims, impractical lines or interiors that suggest a very different future. Not so Mazda’s Takeri concept, which has proven a huge hit despite being a fairly conventional four-door with a petrol engine and automatic transmission. You see, Mazda believes internal combustion engines will dominate beyond the forseeable future and still offer much potential for development before hybrids or electrics gain the upper hand.
The Takeri is a showcase for the Japanese maker’s new ‘Kodo’ or ‘Soul of Motion’ design language. It has already influenced the fluid, athletic styling of Mazda’s latest production model, the popular CX-5. And the Takeri will also clearly guide the design of the next Mazda6 sedan, due next year.
All these cars benefit from the adoption of ‘SkyActiv’ technology, Mazda’s umbrella term for greater power-train efficiency, range-wide weight reductions (averaging 100kg per vehicle) and performance gains for petrol and diesel engines. SkyActiv promises to convert every scrap of energy into spirited driving with hybrid-like efficiency. The Takeri was first to employ i-stop, Mazda’s super-clean stop-start system, and also features a unique regenerative braking system called i-ELOOP.
What makes the graceful Takeri so striking is its pleasing ‘harbour bridge’ profile: the uninterrupted flow of the long roofline and the gentle sweep of character lines through the bodyside. You could almost call it limousine-like thanks to the length of the bonnet, the extended wheelbase and minimal overhangs. It’s a fluid, dynamic shape with beauty in its proportions and effortless blending in its features. Note the way those sleek light clusters at each corner meld into both the bodywork and brightwork. As a deliberate contrast, slimline, silver wing mirrors, each housing cameras, protrude to mimic the wings of the Mazda logo.
Inside, the design team has let loose with luxury materials and contrasting colours and textures. There’s plenty of brushed aluminium and hints of the exterior colour feature on the dashboard. It’s not a production car interior but the Takeri’s emphasis on craftsmanship and its beguiling shape suggest a new level of desirability for the next generation of Mazda models.