2017 Tokyo - Mazda aims upscale with the Vision Coupe Concept

The 2017 Tokyo Motor Show is underway and visitors are seemingly flocking to the Mazda stall. Yes, the Kai Concept was one reason for all the attention Mazda has got but credits go to the show-stopping 'Vision Coupe' Concept that vowed the critics and the show-goers alike. 

The stunning, full-size 4-door coupe is like nothing in Mazda's lineup today and is a clear hint the Japanese car-maker is looking to head upscale if the right opportunity presents itself. With crossovers making sedans of all shapes and sizes eat humble pie, we would need more of these to wrestle the momentum back to a body-style that everybody we know seemingly like the most.

The Vision Coupe Concept strikes at first glance, thanks to the classic 'long hood, swept-back cabin and short deck' proportions usually reserved for front-engined rear-wheel-drive Grand Tourers. Up front, the aggressive U-shaped grille cuts right into the slender headlights that houses circular HID projectors. The interplay of surfaces brought together by the long and flowing hood that extends over the edge of the nose and the aggressively-sculpted front bumper is a visual delight. The profile is minimalism redefined with Mazda's designers banking on the reflection of light out of the polished surfaces to speak for themselves. The shoulder line that originates in the front fender gains prominence as we move towards the rear where it merges beautifully with the flowing roof-line. A pair of circular LED taillights are houses in a recessed piece of metal at the rear with dual circular tailpipes on either side hinting at the power in store. 

Its sensuous design apart, what impresses most is the stunning levels of attention to detail this car is blessed with. Just look at the close-up shots we have merged in the collage below to know what we mean. Despite that, remarkably, the sheet metal is devoid of unwanted cuts and creases that plague the current Japanese designs (We are not looking at you, Toyota and Honda!). 

Even if Mazda decides to set aside the millions of Japanese Yen required for transforming a concept like this to production, expect typical conceptual elements like the slender rear view mirrors, hidden door handles and massive wheels to make way for toned-down parts we see in the market.

The interiors break conventions as well with Mazda getting rid of the usual buttons-clad steering wheel, digital cluster and tablet-affixed center console. Instead, a sophisticated digital-analog instrument panel sits behind a well-designed, metal-garnished steering wheel. The dash is designed to incorporate a three-dimensional effect to convey that sense of speed. Aiding the overall aesthetics are the inset, ultra-wide GPS screen and the wooden inserts on the doors and floor console.   

While Mazda has not revealed the specifications of the Vision Coupe Concept, there are atleast a couple of high-tech options within the brand to go under the hood of a car in this size and class. There is this rotary 'Wankel' engine Mazda pioneered decades back that powered the famous RX series of sports cars. There is also this SkyActiv-X tech, a recent proprietary development by Mazda that combines compression ignition's advantages of higher fuel efficiency, torque and initial acceleration with a spark-controlled gasoline engine. Add an electric motor or two and voila, a high-tech power source would be ready for deployment! 

If this is what the future of Mazda would look like, we are super excited. That said, we really wish the Vision Coupe Concept is not relegated to its moments of glory in the show floors. Let's hope this makes it to production in some form in the not-so-distant future, however bleak the prospects are!

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