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The Mazda Taiki concept from 2007 lives on...

...in the Kai concept from 2017. Maybe. Possibly. See what you think

  1. What's that?

    It is the Mazda Taiki: a small, two-seater concept revealed way back in 2007, at which point we all thought it would be the next RX-8. History of course, proves otherwise. Sadly. It also promised the next generation of Mazda’s famous rotary engine and for that reason alone made us rather excitable. That rotary was slotted up front - enlarged from 1.3-litres to 1.6-litres for this application - driving the rear wheels. Cool ingredients? Check. That new RENESIS rotary engine was an innovation for environmental and driving performance, and in fact, at the time Mazda was also experimenting with a dual-fuel hydrogen hybrid engine.

  2. Looks quite astonishing, mind.

    It really does, all the more impressive considering - as we’ve mentioned – it was unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show back in 2007. That’s TEN WHOLE YEARS ago. This wouldn’t look out of place on the Tokyo stands from last week, let alone leading the show back then. The flowing lines were inspired by the wind and designers even used clay clothes to capture breezy movements.

  3. How realistic was it?

    A cursory glance at the Taiki surely answers that question? Unlikely to have ever made production, suffice to say. The outboard rear wheels were much more suited to the pages of an Internet, though the panoramic glass roof is now a regular on options lists. The Taiki also shunned the RX-8’s suicide doors. Make of that what you will. Inside, the driver’s seat is made from clear plastic and red lights flowed up the steering column in relation to your revs.

  4. Which era of Mazda design language is this?

    Long before ‘Kodo’ hit the range, the Taiki (Japanese for ‘atmosphere’) was designed to “visually express the atmosphere that wraps the Earth in its protective mantle”. In fact, it gets even better than that. Because we were also told the design was “inspired by the image of a pair of Hagoromo – the flowing robes that enable a celestial maiden to fly in Japanese legend”. If that image doesn’t brighten up your afternoon, then NOTHING WILL.

  5. It does look a bit familiar, though...

    Funny you should mention that, random Internet interrogator. If you followed our down-to-the-minute Tokyo Motor Show coverage, you’ll have spotted the rather lovely Mazda Kai concept, which really isn’t a million miles off the Taiki. That’s pretty cool, really, seeing as Mazda was already coming up with these designs in 2007, and now it’s looking like these flowing shapes and ideas could make it to production. The Taiki might have remained on the show stands of old, but it’s great to see that Mazda is still dedicated to its design dreams.

What do you think?

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