First look at Mazda’s new Hakaze Concept

First look at Mazda’s new Hakaze Concept

Following the unveiling of the Ryuga and Nagare concepts at the recent Detroit and Los Angeles Auto Shows, Mazda is about to showcase its third installment in conceptual design with its latest Hakaze Concept car. Designed at Mazda's European Design Centre near Frankfurt, Germany, the Hakaze is a compact crossover coupe with roadster styling. Taking design cues from three distinctive vehicle types, namely a roadster, compact hatchback and SUV, the Hakaze features a removable roof, a hatch-styled rear door and a high ride-height.

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.