In Japanese, the word Hakaze (pronounced Hah-kah-zay) comes from "ha" for "leaf" and "kaze" which means "wind," and this is seen in the vehicle’s exterior. It features the same “sand-dune” like surface iteration as seen on the Nagare concept, while inside the Hakaze comes with natural looking surfaces for the trim and multiple storage compartments. Peter Birtwhistle, Chief Designer of Mazda Motor Europe describes the interior as “looking at sand dunes. It's got all this movement, winds blowing.”
Power comes from a turbocharged 2.3-liter DISI inline-four or a diesel motor with direct injection mated to a six-speed sport transmission, which then sends power to all four wheels via a torque-split all-wheel drive system.
The Hakaze design concept is a look into a possible future compact crossover vehicle from Mazda, but for now remains strictly a pure concept. The design team was integrated with the European marketing division, who were responsible for the initial planning phase of the Hakaze project. Combined with Mazda’s own market data, it became clear that compact SUVs will become more popular over the next 10 years and this lead to the Hakaze. An official unveiling will be made at next month’s Geneva Motor Show.
Full gallery after the jump.