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Mazda cooks up combo special

2007-02-06 10:50

The Mazda Hazake concept car is to be unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show

Mazda's Geneva Motor Show debutante, the Hakaze concept, is said to "combine the best attributes of traditional cars".

Designed at Mazda's European Design Centre near Frankfurt in Germany, the compact crossover is roughly the same length as the Mazda3 hatchback, but a bit taller and wider.

Part of its roof is removable, imparting the feeling of cruising around in a roadster with the agility of a small hatchback. However, it has the high seating position, large glasshouse and interior functionality of a compact SUV.

The concept follows the Nagare ("flow" in Japanese) design language developed by new global design director, Laurens van den Acker and shows off smooth, clean exterior curves.

Outside surfaces are unadorned by conventional door handles and exterior cameras take the place of bulky mirrors.

Two large doors afford one-touch, keyless entry. The windscreen extends to behind the front occupants - Hakaze is a four-seater - and the concept has no B-pillar either.

At the front, the large grille is imposing, while the rear lighting system flows into the lower part of the rear windscreen for an ethereal glow.

The glass roof's rear section is removable in two parts and can be stored in a sliding compartment within the rear bumper.

Killer 20-inch wheel designs are inspired by sand dunes and propellers and the spoke extensions interestingly extend into the tyre to add a three-dimensional effect.

On the inside, the instrument panel houses two dials for the speedometer and tachometer on either side of the steering wheel.

Navigational information, camera images of the car's side and rear views, and warning indicators are displayed on an LCD screen in the steering column. Much like Citroen's production C4, the concept's steering wheel has a fixed centre.

Adjusting the seat positions, heating, audio, and multimedia devices is done via sliding controls on the centre console.

The concept's gear shift doubles as a wireless "data shell" that allows for the storing of personal settings and the transferring of routes, music and movies from the driver?s home computer.

The concept is powered by a turbocharged 2.3-litre petrol unit coupled to Mazda's all-wheel drive system with active torque-split. It uses a six-speed automatic sports transmission.

Suspension is via MacPherson struts at the front and a multi-link rear arrangement.


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