2014 Mazda6: The Transformation of a Concept
When Mazda revealed the Shinari concept car in the courtyard of a palazzo in Milan in 2010, the physical expression of the Kodo design language, the future direction of Mazda design was initiated. Its sheet metal is taut, precise, edged; its stance is low, wide, planted. But at the end of the afternoon, when the sun was setting over the villa, the Shinari was still a concept car, the sort of thing that is ordinarily displayed, not executed.
Because the age of concept cars as being truly conceptual and imaginative is largely over, having been replaced by a more production-intent orientation, Shinari seemed to be something that was unlikely to be realized. Provocative, but not to be produced. Sure, design cues are typically picked up here and there from concepts and applied to production vehicles. And if you sort of squint, sometimes you can almost correlate the concept and the car-as-built.
All of which is to say, there is generally a gulf between the sculpture that is a concept and the car that is a manifestation of workaday realities like depths of draw for sheet metal and the necessity of providing a useful package for occupants. In the world of concepts, metal forms like liquid and headroom is never an issue. Arguably, however, Mazda has come exceedingly close to Shinari with the 2014 Mazda6, a straight-up production car.
A clone? No. But a close relative? No question. And you don’t even need to squint.