Of the Mazda concepts shown at Tokyo, the Kai is the closest to becoming a production car – as the next-generation Mazda 3.
Talking about its second-generation Kodo design language in relation to the Kai, European design chief Kevin Rice said: “This is the design theme as a more practical proposition.” The Kai, he added, “is a really important showcase”, thanks to the importance of the Mazda 3’s segment.
Rice said: “The cab-rear architecture improves the weight distribution and handling, and the long bonnet increases the crush zone.”
A new platform allows the front wheels to sit further forward and the pedals are aligned with the steering wheel rather than being pushed to one side by intrusive wheelhousing. This creates a perfectly aligned driving position, Mazda says.
The production car would ride higher and feature a soft, crushable nose.