FRANKFÚRT, Germany – Mazda has turned the sports car into a vehicle for everyday use.
The Mazda Kusabi concept, showcased this year at the Frankfurt Motor Show, is a four-seat, sub-compact sporty car design that delivers functional performance. "Kusabi" means "a bond or connection that ties two things together," and the concept does just this. It integrates the drive excitement of a sports car with the versatility and economy of a modern compact car.
"It's a sports car you can use for shopping," says Tohru Furusawa of Mazda's Product Innovation Department.
The Kusabi's minimal weight, compact size and highly rigid body lend the superior handling and maneuverability that are characteristic of a sports car. It is planted on 17-inch wheels, with a substantially long wheelbase and a wide, low-to-the-ground stance for aggressive and confident road presence. The Kusabi's aluminum frame supports linear and responsive braking. Combined with a new and spirited 1.6-liter diesel engine and a six-speed automatic shift manual transmission, the concept achieves stable and predictable driving dynamics that can only be described as "zoom zoom."
The Mazda Kusabi's front end features a wider, more intricate interpretation of the brand's signature five-point grille. Its headlights are tucked within slit openings and form a sharp facial expression, and press lines reach from the hood, through the body and to the rear.
The name "Kusabi" also means "wedge," and reflects the concept's wedge-like design. Its roof has pronounced edges and slopes down to the rear. When it meets the side and rear window, an "X"-shaped C-pillar is created and the Kusabi's sports car personality is further defined.
The concept's design also is what defines its functionality. The Twin-Lift Hatchback is a revolutionary new tailgate mechanism that features two split hatch doors. These can be opened individually on a vertically mounted hinge in the center of the roof, which is especially helpful when stowing small items. The split doors also can be opened simultaneously like a regular hatchback, facilitating stowage and removal of larger items. Furthermore, the Kusabi's rear seats fold down for increased cargo volume.
The front seats feature swing seatbacks to facilitate ingress and egress, particularly of the back seat. They are hinged on a mechanism between the driver's and the passenger's seats and can be turned inward, similar to a house door.
Inside, the Mazda Kusabi integrates aluminum as a key design element. Along some of these accents are built-in lighting fixtures that are activated upon door opening and provide soft, courtesy lighting. The interior is then unified by a simple, geometric design of cool metallic elements and soft-textured materials for a contemporary ambience.
Derived from the Mazda2 platform, the Kusabi concept indicates Mazda's renewed effort in the compact car segment and represents the further evolution of its "stylish, insightful and spirited" design DNA. Source - Ford Media