Movement! If everything was still, it would be dead. Movement is symbolic of life itself.
What better way to explore these moments of motion than the Mazda’s design language. Named KODO – Soul of Motion, the design philosophy aims at capturing that pause when a wild animal is about to pounce on its prey. The intent of this philosophy is to treat the car as a being bustling with life, a sculpture that captures the tension that the body lines take moments before movement.
So with a philosophy like that, what does the end result look like? Ravishing to say the least.
Take a look at the creatures that imbibe this design language and the feeling of a feline in action is immediately evident. The silhouettes are a clear flow of aggressive lines and the car details are mesmerising. The interesting character lines on the mazda 3 and 6 are reminiscent of the muscles tensioning up.
The grill and the respective car segment have their imprint on the overall package but it is a pleasure to the eyes to see the consistent flow of design across its different segments. Strong flared details on the hood are another constant feature that can be observed in this language. It is perhaps an essence of the flared nostril of an aggressive creature.
Things that move. The thing that moves…us!
It is this mystical association with motion that the Kodo tries to explore.
Mazda has had its own journey with respect to its design philosophies. The earlier language was termed “Nagare” which when translated to English from Japanese literally means “flow”. It was showcased in the Nagare concept car at the 2006 LA auto show. The design language revolved around organic lines and natural forms that communicated the flow of life. It was designed by Laurens van den Acker, Mazda’s global design director at the time (since replaced by Ikuo Maeda), and his advanced design studio team in Irvine, California.
The Nagare was intended as the future direction of design for the Mazda. Meant as a seamless sculptural form it does not have any major distinguishing marks on the overall car body. While it all sounds really fantastic, Mazda found it difficult to carry forward this language into their production models.
The last remains of the Nagare can be seen in the Mazda 5 minivan as a side swoosh!
Another not so impressive feature of the Nagare was the ‘joker smile’ grill. In an effort to communicate the liquid flow it was devoid of any definitive statement. Something they sought to address with their next design direction, the KODO.
The five star pointed grill gives that definitive purpose to the face while communicating that feline attitude. It seems directed, ready to hustle along at your command and look ridiculously good while doing so! The Kodo-style grille is angular like a five-pointed shield, says Derek Jenkins, Mazda’s North American design manager, with a stronger, more aggressive look. “Kodo gives us a more assertive and provocative presence,” he said.
Its jus an invigorating feeling when the ‘purity of form’ as Gorden Wagner puts it, comes to the fore. Uncomplicated natural lines taken from life itself and not just a random part of it, but the SOUL of motion. That is KODO.