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[YesAuto Design Decode] In our long life, we will probably change ourselves slowly because of some people or things. Many times this is called growth. But there are some friends who stick to the rules and move forward according to their own ideas, and they are still young when they return.

While most car companies use rich lines and exaggerated shapes to satisfy consumers' overwhelming desires, Mazda's designers based in Hiroshima are doing their best to “subtract.” The result of this vigorous research is the Mazda 3 Axela (hereinafter referred to as Mazda 3) in front of us. Beauty and ugliness are up to you. We only talk about the romantic “adventure” behind this design.

● The car that never appeared was born

Thanks to my work, I have interviewed many well-known designers. Perhaps you are very unfamiliar with their names, but their works are familiar to everyone. Unexpectedly, many of these masters always said the name MAZDA when they mentioned their favorite designs. This even allowed me to learn the pronunciation of Mazda in various languages in a short period of time.

What happens by chance is called coincidence, and what happens frequently is called phenomenon. Since ancient times, colleagues have been enemies, and the difficulty of getting the approval of opponents can be imagined. Each concept car released by the Oriental design team has become a veritable “film killer”.

In this world, there are only a handful of people using red as the main color of the brand. The most well-known one is the “Prancing Horse” from the Apennine Peninsula. After Mazda conquered the car world with the soul-moving design concept, red has quietly become their label. When the Kai concept car body wears a soul-moving jersey and walks to the front of the stage, I believe that most of my friends will silently recite in their hearts “Hurry up and mass production, God bless you not to change too much”, because Mazda has not specified it, but a discerning person It can be guessed that this is the prototype of the new generation of Mazda 3.

For any design team in the world, creating a timeless classic is its highest pursuit, and the difficulty can be imagined. There are no absolutes in the world, and there are still more challenging things, that is to surpass the classics created by oneself, and need to continue to surpass again and again. Sitting across from me, Mazda designer Yasue Tsuchida, who resembles Japanese actor Odagiri Jojo in temperament, is the one who bears this kind of pressure.

The automobile, a product of modern industrialization, contains the hard work of multidisciplinary developers. Unlike art that pursues the ultimate beauty, it needs to take care of the senses and aesthetics while also taking into account the practicality. These true stories and challenges hidden behind a car can be called romantic adventures.

● As attractive as young girls

For adult men, it is easy for Miaoling girls to get our attention away. Some people attribute the reason to their ability to emit youthful hormones. The scientific explanation is that the posture of Miaoling girls is the focus of the first ecstasy. Car design The same is true.

For most car companies, continuous upward breakthrough is the direction they have been striving for. For the product side, competing with higher-level products is not only a severe challenge, but also an affirmation of itself. With the attempts of luxury brands to dive down, the German troika has occupied the top position of the pyramid in the compact car-level market, and the launch of the new Mazda 3 is bound to challenge them.

After the brand's highly appealing BMW turned the 1 series into a front-wheel drive, it is still trying to retain the slender engine compartment cover shape, in order to try to reduce the aesthetic discomfort brought by the driving form, which coincides with Mazda's philosophy. This attempt started on the old Mazda 3 continues to evolve in the new generation of models.

The compact cars launched by luxury brands have undergone the change from rear-wheel drive to front-wheel drive. The significant increase in space in exchange for the control advantages that most consumers cannot appreciate is an important reason for car companies to make these decisions. Although the driving style has changed, people's inherent impression of equating rear-drive and advanced is indelible. Through the designer's pen, cleverly creating rear-drive features may help the product win. Creating a sense of luxury is the key to victory for both BBA and Mazda.

● Challenge yourself yesterday

The scary thing about time is that only inadvertently looking back will you find the traces of it flowing. When the Mazda 3 Axela went on the market five years ago, I became a one-year car owner with the opportunity of long-term testing. I still have a high demand for driving. Five years later, a whole new generation came to the stage. Now I have a demand for space. The unsatisfactory part of the old model and whether the new model can be improved has become my focus.

Although both new and old models have sedan versions, there are obvious differences in development ideas. To be precise, the development idea of the old model is biased towards creating a COUPE, which sacrifices the head space of some rear passengers for styling. This is what the development team received after the vehicle was launched in China and the United States that focused on rear space. According to feedback from the market, at the beginning of the development of the new Mazda 3, it was hoped to completely solve the space problem. The first thing was to change the orientation of the model.

● Extreme richness is simplicity

The simplest things are often the most challenging of skills. To make eggs with uncomplicated lines and hierarchical relationships be painted well, you need the highest level. Do not pursue complex lines, but still make the viewer feel level and dynamic. This is the Mazda Soul. The core of dynamic design. The difficulty is higher than the technique of using a sharp chamfered waistline, which is an important reason why Mazda's design is recognized by the industry.

Regardless of the industry, most design teams will be affected by the current fashion trends. The difficulty of car design lies in the need to predict the future fashion direction 3-5 years in advance. It is not difficult to grasp the development direction through internal communication in the industry, but choosing to stick to oneself or keep up with fashion is a dilemma.

The three-dimensional effect of using lines to depict the side of a vehicle sounds a bit difficult to understand at first, but you can understand it as a sketch. By depicting the relationship between light and dark, we can make a circle “turn into an egg”. Painting eggs is an introductory technique, and more advanced are complex sculptures, portraits, and scenery. However, simple things are often the most difficult. It is somewhat like the way of cooking in Hong Qigong's mouth. The more simple ingredients are home-cooked dishes, the more the chef's skills are tested.

● Sports are not always tit-for-tat

As we grow older, most of us learn to behave sleekly. In fact, there are many ways to achieve a goal. In addition to being hard-headed, the curve saves the country and has twice the result with half the effort. After finalizing the overall proportion and posture, the design work enters the details, which includes not only creating a family design, but also the choice of what skills to use to achieve a sense of movement.

The supreme state of family design is to seek common ground while reserving differences, and the ultimate effect is to allow viewers to quickly distinguish brand attributes and accurately discover the corresponding different models. Of course, for the new generation models, it is also facing the problem of how to inherit the essence of the old products. Mazda 3 has changed from the old model's raised eyebrows and squinting eyes to today's squinted grin, with a slightly changed expression, but Shen Yun is still the “little brother” you are familiar with.

Many of my friends around me showed entanglement or difficulty in choosing a car. Everyone hoped that the size of the car should be as large as possible, and at the same time it should be small and smart when driving. From an engineering point of view, this is a problem of having both fish and bear's paw. Designers can cleverly solve it with brushes, and the method is through visual magic.

Therefore, today we can see that many new cars released use various horizontal lines, so that under the objective conditions of little change in body size, the vehicle looks wider. For Mazda that does not take the usual road, horizontal lines are used. The method of widening the visual effect will inevitably fall into clichés. The Hiroshima designer took inspiration from the car logo and used the grille to create a sense of extension. The new and old models have also made minor corrections in this detail, and the effect is immediate.

The car design process includes many projects, but they can be summarized into different trends. The simplification of the new Mazda 3 design is another key point of the entire project. After years of development, Mazda has entered a new era of soul dynamic design, reducing unnecessary elements as much as possible, and strengthening the overall sense is an important part of it. This is also the development trend of many luxury brands today.

In the design industry, low-level players like to show off their skills, while veteran players are more peaceful. Designing to highlight the manufacturing and processing technology has been the development direction of many German leather brands in recent years, but in the eyes of Mazda designers, they are more inclined to create “natural emotions.”

● Mazda is no longer “willful”

When it comes to Mazda products, many people will blurt out their individuality. In other words, some friends think that although the design is good, it is not practical. In the interior of the new Mazda 3, we saw the results of Hiroshima engineers' thinking. It is still a rare car of this level and full of fun, and it is also trying to meet the needs of more people.

The sharp and dazzling appearance is always a show of face for outsiders. For a compact car that shoulders the attributes of a travel tool, the design of the interior part is the lining that can provide users with an appointment experience. The double judging standards of beauty and practicability require the cooperation of design and engineering teams to complete, and tit-for-tat and inconsistency are just the bridge in the story.

Whether it’s the exterior or interior, most of the car design process starts with the input of development appeals. From the results, we vaguely see that 4 years ago, the designer at Mazda’s Hiroshima headquarters opened the document and caught the eye ” Create a next-generation sporty feel, and have a texture that is in line with German luxury brands” This seemingly impossible goal.

Similar to the exterior design, the target method of creating a sense of movement in the interior is also that each company has its own strengths. The creation of a sense of wrapping and exclusiveness is a popular trend in today's automobile industry. The development idea of the new Mazda 3 interior is also derived from this, of course, as you can see, the Hiroshima design team likes to use their own methods.

After a period of accumulation, today some Chinese brands have started their “upward” journey. This is not our exclusive Moment. In fact, internationally renowned car brands are constantly challenging their own ceilings. For Mazda, it has been their goal in recent years to subvert people's inherent impression of past Japanese models with design.

For our ordinary consumers, the premium ability of luxury brands is an important reason for choice. What’s more fascinating is that it’s often mentioned that luxury brands like to create texture, or work hard on details that we usually don’t easily observe. The result is that the final product has a high-end product with a similar size. sense.

For the Mazda development team, which has always liked to push the limits, this is the ultimate goal of the challenge, and it is also the deep feeling they strive to build on the new Mazda 3. The texture or the creation of high-level sense is often described with a bit of metaphysics. From the user's point of view, it seems difficult to describe it numerically. However, in the real car development process, the many details in the interior are precisely the important links for designers and engineers to devote their efforts to help them achieve the desired results.

Excellent industrial product design not only does not affect the experience of use, on the contrary, sometimes it can get twice the result with half the effort. For most production cars, storage space is essential. The window line of the previous generation model is higher. Similar to this revision, the storage space of the new generation model has also been significantly optimized.

In addition to the above, there are some information that has never been disclosed in this closed-door communication:

☆ This generation of Atez's interior has undergone three obvious evolutions. The reason is that the Yuelian system has been upgraded on the one hand, and the other part is the overall upgrade of Mazda’s design language, but this will not happen on the new Mazda 3. The design team is very satisfied with the result.

☆ The hatchback version that many fans are thinking of will not be made in China. One of the reasons is that the hatchback version only accounts for 10% of the overall sales of the old models. In other words, the popularity of the hatchback version of the previous model is the direct reason that made the official decision not to make a domestic hatchback for the new generation of models. Whether the hatchback version will be imported by other means in the future depends on the policy situation, and it is not optimistic at present.

Full text summary:

Among the many Japanese manufacturers, Mazda's size is by no means the first group, and it is precisely because of this state that it can maintain its small and beautiful posture. It is one of their development strategies to meet the needs of the core user group and make the people love them deeper. In today's era of pursuit of longer body size, surging power, and large interior screens, the new Mazda 3 really looks a bit special. However, as discussed above, this is not the desperate insistence of the Hiroshima development team, nor is it bucking the trend behind closed doors, but the result of careful analysis of user needs. The remaining questions also follow. This is not what you think of it, but are you its target consumer group?