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What do we have here, Mazda? This gorgeous, fastback-esque sedan (coupe in German) is set for a Tokyo motor show debut in a couple weeks to help showcase Mazda’s future design language. While it’s hard to make out specifics from the shadowy teaser, the so-called “design vision concept” appears to blend the best elements of recent Lexus and Audi styling with a healthy dose of Mazda’s own heavily sculpted Kodo language. And since “design vision” doesn’t come close to doing it justice, we’re going to call it the Mazda 8. That’s got a nice ring to it.  

The second concept Mazda’s bringing to Tokyo is a small hatchback that we expect to foreshadow the future Mazda 3. It’ll sit atop a new structure called the Skyactiv-Vehicle Architecture (Skyactiv-VA) that Mazda says features “a human-centered design philosophy for optimal functionality.” Like you, we’re wondering what the current Mazda 3 design is centered on, if not humans (crash test results, maybe?), but it’s a damn good driver, so we’re really looking forward to trying one with a human-centered design philosophy.

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This next-generation concept hatch previews Mazda’s new design language, and likely the next Mazda 3.

On the tech front, we’ll get a better look at the Skyactiv-X compression-ignition gasoline engine, expected to appear in 2019, possibly under the hood of the next Mazda 3. The goal of the tech — called “spark controlled compression ignition,” or SPCCI — is to deliver roughly 25 percent more power in an engine that’s 25 percent more efficient. You can read more about the engine tech here, and check out a test-drive of a current Mazda 3 with the new powertrain

“Our stand this year marks the beginning of a new era for Mazda,” said Masamichi Kogai, Mazda’s representative director, president and CEO. “We will showcase a concept model with the design and technologies that will define a whole new generation of Mazda cars.”

So what’s it going to be? Is the future of internal combustion Mazda’s SPCCI or Infiniti’s equally innovative variable compression engine? Or a combination of both? We’ll have more from the Tokyo show floor, including a deeper dive on Mazda’s new design direction, in just a few short weeks.

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Mazda’s Skyactiv-X spark-controlled compression ignition (SPCCI) engine

Andrew Stoy

Andrew Stoy – Digital editor Andrew Stoy has spent the past 20 years wrenching on and writing about cars. He’s worked everywhere from dealer service bays to the headquarters of the world’s largest automakers.
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