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L.A. Auto Show: Mazda goes upmarket with concept Shinari

November 18, 2010 |  2:15 pm

Mazdashinari Mazda has unveiled its Shinari. The four-door concept, revealed Wednesday, is the first iteration of the Japanese manufacturer's new Kodo design philosophy: "soul of motion."

Designed to symbolize an upmarket sophistication that retains Mazda's reputation for value, the Shinari is more athletic than its Nagare predecessor, with a more pronounced grille and slits for headlights and side mirrors.

"The prior generation had this feeling of flow, which was this nice movement through the side of the car and through the details, which was very powerful and well-received," said Derek Jenkins, Mazda Americas' design director. "We wanted to evolve that. We wanted something a little more clean and sophisticated."

The Shinari's  wheels are an oversized 21 inches and they're ringed with tight fenders that feature a crease line that runs into the front doors before disappearing. A lean and low car that looks as if it wants to spring into action,the Shinari has taken the covers off the lenses of its lights and signals.

The cocooned and driver-oriented interior is finished with luxury details that take their cues from  chronograph watches and fine leather shoes, Jenkins said.

According to Jenkins, "Mazda has a dream customer demographic: very young, well-educated and upwardly mobile. But oftentimes we find the young Mazda 3 buyers, as they mature, they leave the brand, and so what we're trying to do is say, when our great younger buyers become young professionals, how we can give them that feeling of sophistication and maturity but still with all the passion of a Mazda 2 or 3? This car is a little bit symbolic of that."

In development for a year, the Shinari was conceived alongside other products currently in development. It will probably evolve into those as-yet-unnamed projects.

MORE LA AUTO SHOW:

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-- Susan Carpenter

Photo: Mazda Shinari. Credit: Mazda

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