Hot off the announcement of their compression-ignition Skyactive-X engine, Mazda have unveiled the Kai hatchback concept.
Likely to be the next generation 3, the Kai is a dead-sexy hatchback utilizing their current Kodo design language (as seen on the current CX-5 and CX-9). A deliberate counterpoint to the overly busy boy-racer designs of their Japanese competition (the Lancer-wannabe frontend of the Corolla, or the absolute butt-ugly aftermarket vomitorium of the Civic), the Kai embraces simplicity and strong lines over vents, grills and more vents and grills.
Keeping the too-long hood of the current 3, the Kai has a U-shaped grill that carves into the headlights, creating a distinct separation between the bumper and hood. The headlights draw back almost to the front wheel-wells, helping to visually shorten the frontend.
Inside has the typical dash-mounted screen replaced with an embedded digital screen. The unibody architecture helps distribute crash impact around the entirety of the vehicle.
Mazda has been making some bold moves to help establish a need to justify their small footprint. Focusing on performance and design should help them standout from their more quantity-concerned competition (who look like butt.) The Kai concept is a step in the right direction. Let’s see if the market agrees.