When Mazda said its new ‘Kodo-Soul of Motion’ design theme would be influencing its future models, it certainly wasn’t lying.

In a little over 12 months we’ve seen the design language feature on the original Shinari and Minagi concept cars and more recently on the 2012 Mazda CX-5 due in showrooms early next year.

Now Mazda is showing the latest evolution of the design with its new Takeri Concept set for debut at the 2011 Tokyo Auto Show, and in the process is giving us the strongest indication yet as to how the next-generation Mazda6 will look, and we must say we certainly like it.

In addition to alluring styling, the Takeri also features a full array of SKYACTIV technologies, Mazda’s umbrella heading for its coming range of fuel saving features.

In the case of the Takeri there is a new SKYACTIV-D clean diesel engine, almost certainly a preview of a new diesel engine to be offered on the next-generation Mazda6, as well the usual engine stop-start tech, aerodynamic aids, a lightweight chassis using ultra-high tensile steel, and regenerative brakes.

This latter element converts kinetic energy to electricity during deceleration, stores it in capacitors and then uses it to power the vehicle's electric equipment such as the air conditioner, thereby reducing load on the engine and saving fuel.

The diesel engine, meanwhile, is a 2.2-liter turbodiesel unit rated at 173 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque. It has a lightweight, low friction design, which should ensure smoother running, however, its key attribute is the lowest compression ratio of any diesel engine currently in production by a mainstream automaker.

2011 Mazda Takeri Concept

2011 Mazda Takeri Concept

The interior has a decisively more upmarket look than current Mazdas, as well as a sporty driver-focused design akin to BMW. There’s even a iDrive-like control wheel mounted in the center column just below the gear selector lever. 

While Mazda is yet to reveal any solid details on its next-generation Mazda6, which is expected to be unveiled next spring and land in showrooms by the end of 2012, we do know that the car will be produced in Japan and keep its front-wheel drive layout.

Press days for the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show don’t kick off until November 30 so in the meantime click here for complete coverage of the event thus far.