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Mazda Hakaze Concept 2007

NEW YORK – Natural flow lines are all around us – wind blowing shapes in sand, wave forms seen from above – and are literally symbolic of movement itself. Mazda’s design and surface language for futureZoom-Zoomvehicles embraces this concept of natural flow, a new design language called Nagare (pronounced na-ga-reh). Developed by Mazda ’ s global design director, Laurens van den Acker, the word Nagare means “ flow ” and “ the embodiment of movement ” in Japanese. To apply this idea to car design, van den Acker and his team analyzed motion itself and how forces like wind and water move in nature.

The 2007 auto show season features four concepts from Mazda that express this new Nagare design concept. The first concept vehicle, also named Nagare, was shown at the Los Angeles International Auto Show, followed by the Ryuga (pronounced ree-yoo-ga), which debuted at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

Now Mazda brings its Nagare “flow” concept to New York as its third all-new concept in the series, Hakaze (pronounced hah-kah-zay), makes its North American debut. Hakaze, which was designed at Mazda ’ s European Design Center near Frankfurt, Germany and recently made its world debut at the Geneva International Motor Show, is a compact crossover coupe with a roadster feel. It combines the best attributes of three traditional types of cars. Part of its roof is removable, which gives a feel similar to a roadster; it is agile and fun to drive like a compact hatchback, and it has a high hip point and interior functionality like a compact SUV. It expresses Nagare “ flow ” on the outside with sand-dune like surface iteration and combines these with shapes from machines that move through water or air. On the inside, it boasts “ flowing ” Nagare forms, natural surfaces and insightful functionality to meet the demands of adventurous lifestyles like kite-surfing.

" Nagare is expressed in the Mazda Hakaze, not only in the iteration on the side of the car, but also in a lot of the details, ” says Peter Birtwhistle, Chief Designer, Mazda Motor Europe. “ If you look at details like the execution of the wheel design, the spokes have a nice flow in terms of the way they move and the way they integrate into the tire design. The flow concept continues into the interior too, which is reminiscent of sand dunes. It has incredible movement, very much like blowing winds.”

The Compact Crossover Coupe with a Roadster Feel

In Japanese, the word Hakaze comes from “ ha ” for “ leaf ” and “ kaze ” which means “ wind, ” a fitting combination for a vehicle that looks like it is effortlessly cutting through the air while standing still. Mazda Hakaze has very compact proportions. At 174 inches, it is roughly the same length as the Mazda3hatchback – which ensures agile, sporty handling – but is wider (74.4 inches, + 5.3 inches), and taller (61.4 inches, + 3.7 inches) with a high seating position, a very large glass area and large suspension travel, all attributes usually associated with a C-segment SUV.

This insightful package is clothed in a modernistic body work with no door handles and no mirrors ( exterior cameras replace these) very compact proportions and flowing major feature lines and side textures that create a muscular and taught look. Mazda Hakaze has no B-pillar either and the rear two-thirds of the glass roof can be taken off in two parts and stored in a slide-out compartment in the rear bumper. Lowering the car ’ s four frameless windows then converts the concept into a fun to drive, four-seat coupe with a roadster feel.

The design team took inspiration from sports and outdoor activities in the wind or in the water, giving the sensation of being free. The team looked at sports like kite-surfing, flying, diving, driving personal watercraft or a motorcycle. They looked for shapes molded by natural elements – how the wind shapes the sand is a key element in the exterior design of the Hakaze.

At the front, Mazda pushed forward the design idea of the Mazda Sassou, which was presented at the 2005 Frankfurt Auto Show, with a large, five-point grille design that has chevron-shaped front indicators and headlights, to which they added Nagare flow lines. At the rear of the car, a unique illumination system is used with light flowing directly into the lower part of the rear window. The rear lights have flowing shapes integrated into the design, giving an appearance of a floating light.

Hakaze ’ s silhouette features Nagare flow lines at the front of the door panel, with a visual link to the front of the car created by a line falling over the top of the front wheel well and into the side panel. These are combined with a rising beltline extended into the hatchback door, a steeply angled windshield similar to Mazda ’ s CX-7 crossover SUV and a roof line that gives Hakaze a modern body shape that integrates the strong look of a Samurai sword when seen from the side.

All the Nagare flow lines combine to visualize movement by making it seem as if the wind itself has etched natural flow lines into the car ’ s surface. Even when parked, Hakaze looks as if it is moving, as if wind is blowing over the front wheel wells, down and along the side panels and across the bottom of the rear window.

Hakaze not only took its inspiration from Nagare natural flow, but also from technological objects like helicopters, speed boats and jetfighters. These are strongly related to flow and examples of human interface to fast movement through natural elements. The design team combined these kinds of forms with shapes directly moulded by flow in sand and water. Examples of this are Hakaze ’ s glass roof cockpit and its 20-inch wheel design. The wheels use a mixture of forms inspired by sand dunes and propeller shapes to express flow and movement – including extensions of the spoke design into the tire rubber bordering the wheel – and adds a three-dimensional depth to lend Mazda ’ s new show car a modern sophistication.

Nagare Surface Treatment Enhanced by “Flop” Technique

Hakaze ’ s exterior forms are combined with colors, materials and surface treatment that also express Nagare flow. A desert image is the source for its golden color, reminiscent of a desert at sunset.

“ The exterior color was selected to support the surface language, its articulation and its texture, s o that the whole surface impression is one of natural flow, ” said Birtwhistle. “We want to have a feeling of sand, so if you look closer at the color, you see small particles like sand. ”

The natural look to the exterior surface was further underscored by employing a “ flop ” technique in the color treatment of all panels that are bent at an angle to form two sections with a smooth edge between them. The paint used for such panels was designed to give the upper part of the panel a more transparent feel, which is created by a transparent layer over the color. Then the color “ flops ” over towards a darker impression below the edge, an effect achieved by additives to the paint and by a slightly different use of particles in the paint. The final effect is similar to a sand dune or a wave in sand, which is lighter above and darker below.

Mazda Hakaze – Kite-Surfing Practicality

Hakaze was designed to show how a possible future C-segment crossover would meet emerging lifestyles trends, and no other trend sport is as perfect a fit as kite-surfing, the latest big crossover sport. It is designed for typical surfer flexibility.

For instance, you can take the roof off in two parts and stow them in a slide-out compartment in the rear bumper. This makes Hakaze a perfect vehicle, not only for a cool roadster feel while driving, but also makes it a sun-filled place to relax on the beach between sessions. Also, the doors and hatch have no handles and are opened without a key. They use a “ data shell, ” which is a wireless, multi-functional device that the car recognizes, which unlocks the doors automatically. The driver then simply touches the surface where the handle would be, and the door moves outward away from the car by 30 degrees , and opens upward by 45 degrees . This is especially practical when lugging gear to the car.

A Natural Environment

The interior of the Hakaze is a triumph of form, texture and functionality. Its two large, pop-up doors are keyless, one-touch and give a wide opening into one of its four bucket seats. Once inside, Hakaze ’ s interior gives an intense open feeling, even with the roof up. The windscreen extends to behind the front occupants, creating an enormous viewing angle. The A-pillar dives into the instrument panel just in front of the door, making this feeling even stronger.

“ Nagare is visible on the interior in the main surfaces, which are a combination of gently flowing volumes with edges that slowly fade away, ” said Birtwhistle. “ Inspiration was taken from a dune landscape with the technical parts, like the steering column, being pushed into the surface like a shell that is partly covered in sand on the beach. Also the textures follow this gentle flow of form in a natural manner. All this creates a sensual feeling for the interior and makes sitting in Hakaze like sitting in a natural environment. ”

The interior design, and especially the instrument panel, is asymmetrical with a strong focus on the driver. The wrap-around cockpit features a long steering unit that gives a feeling of sportiness and depth. It has orange-lit meters on each side of the steering wheel and in the center of the steering column is an LCD screen with navigation information, images from the car ’ s rear view and side cameras and warning indicators, all of which give an enhanced feeling of control to the driver. The center of the steering wheel is fixed, only the rim and the lower arm can rotate.

There are also unique sliding controls to the right of the driver on the center console, which follow the three illuminated lines in the surface. These lines have a dune wave design to make it easy for the driver to slide their finger up or down along the surface. Doing so adjusts seat positions, heating, audio and multimedia devices, with light below the surface moving up or down with the finger. The wave strip furthest from the driver has the controls for the car ’ s hard disc drive multimedia system and an LCD screen that electrically rises up and out of the dashboard surface on the passenger side. This screen can be turned by hand so the driver can also see it when the car is parked.

Data can be transferred to and from the car ’ s computer with a personal “ data shell, ” which is a further development of the USB stick concept used on the Mazda Sassou design car.

The wireless device allows the driver to open the car simply by carrying it in their pocket, and also allows them to save p ersonal driving settings and data from their home computer (route, music, movies). After getting in the car, the driver pushes the switch on the side of the “ data shell ” causing the connector to pop out. The device is then inserted in the center console and it automatically downloads the stored information using Bluetooth® technology and provides ignition. Once in place, the “ data shell ” also functions as the gear shift lever for the concept ’ s automatic gearbox.

Hakaze also has a wireless charging pad located in the glove box (also using Bluetooth®) to recharge the batteries of a mobile phone, PDA, camera or MP3 player. This insightful solution does away with annoying cables, and keeps the device out of view and safe while it recharges automatically.

All of Hakaze ’ s seats are mounted on the center tunnel and are electrically adjustable, sliding fore and aft. For more room in the back, the rear seats slide forward with their lower cushions under the front seats, which give ample space in the hatch for all kinds of gear necessary for a day at the beach. With the windows down and the top off, there is a true roadster feel wherever you happen to be sitting in the car.

Mazda Hakaze – Kite-Surfing Functionality

Kite-surfers are “ wind chasers. ” They get up in the morning, turn on their computer and search for the right wind conditions on the Internet for the best place to surf, call their friends, grab their gear and go. Hakaze meets the needs of such a lifestyle in several ways.

For example, part of Hakaze ’ s center tunnel in the back slides rearwards and out of the car, to which a kite-surfboard can be attached, slid back in and transported. On the inside is an Internet connection on the integrated LCD screen in front of the front passenger. A small digital camera is mounted in the LCD screen, which can be rotated to film the road or the people in the car. The idea is that you can film a nice surfing spot or the route to it, and then share it afterwards with your friends. The concept ’ s back seat also has a practical double floor construction on both sides of the center tunnel in the back, whose underside is made of rubber making it ideal for transporting wet and sandy items. And finally, most of the switches in the car are sensors that are under the surface, meaning there are no shut lines. This prevents water or sand from getting into the switches and makes cleaning the vehicle on the inside easier as well.

InteriorColorsand Materials

“ We want the interior to be a heightened touch experience full of natural-feeling surfaces – natural in the sense that you come to the car and you have one impression. When you look a second time, you see new things happening everywhere, ” said Birtwhistle.

The color scheme on the inside of Hakaze was chosen to enhance the natural flow forms and to underscore the car ’ s kite-surfing functionality. They reflect the ocean, continuing the beach and dune theme, with the floor a dark brown, the trim, dashboard, doors and center panel a greenish beige, the four seats in a deep blue. This is combined with unique texturing of materials meant to enhance the Nagare flow strategy with natural feeling surfaces and patterns. Many of the concept ’ s interior materials are grained using new Flotek® technology, which can create different textures on a single surface. Before, materials had to be embossed using the same repeating patterns. With this new graining technology, the Color and Material ’ s team was able to make asymmetrical and creatively-patterned surfaces that mimic natural irregularities.

The floor, for instance, is made of soft, natural leather , great for bare feet just off the beach, embossed in a flow pattern with a patina of various textures and slight imperfections that give a natural feel compared to artificially homogeneous material like carpet. The dashboard also has a special grain over it that feels sandy in some places and has line texture in others, which enhances the flowing Nagare forms by making them not only look natural, but feel natural as well.

This touch experience also extends to the seats of Hakaze, which are made of smooth, high-tech leather with a surface coating to make them feel similar to the material used for wet suits, but with a higher quality. The driver ’ s seat is surrounded in a cocoon-like cockpit and continues the kite-surfer appeal with wet suit stitching and badging in orange Kanji script, while the other three seats have water droplets printed on them for a wet and wild look. The result of all these efforts is a very interactive, even sensual interior surfacing where passengers can discover new touch sensations every time they get into the car.

Ready for Off-road Fun

The Hakaze design concept has been conceived to be equipped with either a powerful DISI* gasoline engine or a diesel engine. The MZR 2.3-litre DISI gasoline engine is a high-performance turbocharged engine with direct injection that is coupled to Mazda ’ s active torque-split all-wheel drive transmission. This is Mazda ’ s latest MZR powertrain technology and is an ideal match to the adventurous and fun nature of Hakaze. It delivers high torque and power, 6-speed sport automatic transmission and beach-ready four-wheel drive traction.

NagareDesign - A New Expression of Movement

Last year Mazda wowed the show car world with a trilogy of design concepts that was talked about on three continents. From Europe ’ s Sassou show car with its unique Shoji design principle and hidden features, to Tokyo Motor Show ’ s Mazda Senku concept car, winner of the Grand Prix du Plus Beau Concept Car at the 21st Festival Automobile International in 2006 in Paris, to North America ’ s sports car study Mazda Kabura, winner of the Detroit Auto Show ’ s Aesthetic and Innovation Award – Mazda Motor Corporation wrote another chapter in its global reputation for eye-catching,Zoom-Zoomdesign.

“Nagare is the start of a new journey that will ultimately sow the seeds for an entirely new generation of Mazda vehicles. Nagare is about capturing motion, energy and beauty, and translating it into forms that people connect with and want to touch; it finds its inspiration in nature, and as such is an incredibly rich source for our designers,” described van den Acker, Design Division General Manager, Mazda Motor Corporation.

Its first expressions were the Nagare concept car presented last November at the LA Auto Show, and the Ryuga, which premiered at the Detroit Motor Show in January. Both Mazda concepts are an evolving expression of Zoom-Zoom, inspired by the movement of nature ’ s elements – Nagare ’ s original surface articulation was inspired by geological flow patterns, and Ryuga ’ s side body texture was inspired by Karesansui, or Japanese raked gardens. Since its initial debut, Nagare has also been updated to show how surface language can be inspired by the way water flows across the bottom of a slate-filled river. Each evokes energy and lightness, translated into a beautiful language of lines and forms that are powerful yet effortless, simple yet strikingly seductive.

Headquartered in Irvine, Calif., Mazda North American Operations oversees the sales, marketing, parts and customer service support of Mazda vehicles in the United States, Canada and Mexico through nearly 900 dealers. Operations in Canada are managed by Mazda Canada, Inc., located in Ontario, Canada, and in Mexico by Mazda Motor de Mexico in Mexico City.

For more information on Mazda products, visit the online Mazda media center at

* Direct Injection Spark Ignition


Overall length

174.0 inches

Overall width

74.4 inches

Overall height

61.4 inches


104.3 inches

Seating capacity


Cargo volume

14.1 cubic feet



MZR 2.3 DISI turbo gasoline



6-speed electronically controlled sport automatic gearbox.
Mazda’s active torque-split all wheel-drive transmission

Tires & Wheels


Dunlop 255/50 R 20
20’’ x 9 J

Mazda Hakaze Concept 2007


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