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Mazda’s European design director has left
Brit Kevin Rice moves on to pastures less zoom-zoomy
Kevin Rice has stepped down as Mazda’s European design director after four years in the job. And we’re suitably miffed.
To say that Rice is pretty decent when it comes to design is underselling it a bit – he’s spent a cumulative decade at Mazda and 13 years at BMW, working on the all-important 3 and 4 Series, while Giugiaro is also on his CV.
At Mazda, Rice was involved with the swan song for rotaries, the RX-8, as well as working with global design head honcho Ikuo Maeda to implement Mazda’s famous ‘Kodo’ design language across the range, which is why it’s hard to find a duffer among Mazda’s range these days. It’s also why the Japanese MX-5 is so much better looking than the Italian Fiat 124, a sentence which should be the heights of apostasy but instead is the apogee of obviousness.
Perhaps the most memorable moment for TG is when we chatted to Kevin about the genuinely astonishing Vision Coupe as it stunned audiences at the Villa d’Este. Yeah, not the toughest day of work for anyone involved, really. Unfortunately, as much as we’ve asked, Mazda still hasn’t agreed to build it. But Kevin’s also allowed us inside his domain at Mazda’s German design HQ and even lent us one of his designers to come up with our very own Mazda hypercar.
TG, in a rare moment of magnanimity, wishes him all the best wherever he lands. We’re also hoping Mazda’s fine run of design form isn’t about to come to an end…