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[YesAuto Design Decode] The body length and wheelbase of the current Mazda MX-5 (ND) are smaller than those of the previous generation (NC); the current Mazda 3 Angkesaila cancels the touch function of the center control screen, and the rear suspension is also From a multi-link independent suspension to a torsion beam suspension with a simpler structure…

Netizens shouted: What is Mazda's trouble! ? After people update and iterate, the size is getting bigger and bigger, and the functions are getting more and more. Mazda actually did the opposite. That's right, this is the Mazda with a “watt” mind we are going to talk about today. Not long ago, Changan Mazda CX-30 was launched in China, which means that the SUV of Soul Motion Design 2.0 has been sold in China. With this new car, in this issue of “The Spectator”, let's talk about Mazda's persistent styling design.


Who are the bystanders?

In this issue of bystanders, we invited two old friends who were also the original Audi designers-Ma Ke and Xu Yixiong. Years of experience in car design have given them a different perspective from our ordinary consumers when looking at new cars on the market. Through discussions with two professional designers, we have a deeper understanding of Mazda's current design. We will not relay the opinions of the two professionals in the form of “transmitting microphones”, but on this basis, let everyone understand Mazda more popularly and clearly.


How did Mazda make itself a “niche”?

• Well, the goal is the “niche”!

The world no longer lacks any car brand or even any car model. There are more and more car models in the market segment. All levels of cars, station wagons, SUVs, MPVs, pickups, etc. make consumer demand basically Can be satisfied. As a car company whose scale is difficult to match that of major manufacturers such as Toyota and Volkswagen, Mazda has identified its own path of survival many years ago.

The big factory has the advantage of the big factory, wider model coverage, and better scale effect. Small factories have the advantages of small factories, which can more accurately meet the needs of consumer groups. Mazda once said that “only 2% of consumers in the world recognize Mazda cars is enough .”

2% sounds rare, but looking at the global auto production and sales in 2019, Volkswagen and Toyota won the first and second places on the list respectively. The global sales accounted for 12.2% and 11.4%, respectively, and Daimler-Benz ranked tenth in its sales volume. The proportion is only 3.1%, so if Mazda is recognized by 2% of consumers, it is already very good data for this small factory.

Since the leadership has decided not to let Mazda compete with Toyota, Honda, and Volkswagen, Mazda people also have a clear understanding and positioning of themselves, so the development in recent years is stable and clear. Persist in the update and iteration of Soul Motion design and Chuang Chi Blue Sky technology, persist in the excavation of internal combustion engine technology, mass production of SKYACTIVE-X compression ignition engines, etc., step by step to create an ideal pattern of “small and beautiful”. Therefore, the “niche” is Mazda's top-down aspirations and goals.

• The choice between soul dynamic design and interior space

In the previous article “From Sculpture to Brand-new CX-5: Talking about the New Dimension of Soul Motion Design”, the comment section saw the three most popular comments. The opinions of netizens are very representative. The third most popular comment is OK. Said expressed the reason why many friends like Mazda but would not buy Mazda.

More space would be great!

More space would be great!

More space would be great!

Mazda is a typical brand of “you buy, I recommend; I buy? I don't buy”. The reason is that consumers' desire for more space in Mazda has not been satisfied . Why is Mazda so stubborn? This can be traced back to the definition of model development by Mazda designers and the requirements for body proportions.

Mazda designers once summarized the 4 characteristic points of Soul Motion Design:

Most Mazda models have always insisted on the body proportions of the long front, which is also attributed to the original soul dynamic design language , whether it is the small car Mazda 2, the medium car Mazda 6, or the SUV models CX-30 and CX-9, The whole family is following this design style.

Even if the engineering does not need such a long cabin design, in order to highlight the strong power in the design, Mazda has always adhered to such a body proportion. Indeed, this is in line with the designer's aesthetic, and it has also allowed Mazda models to win many international design awards, but the inevitable side effect has always been the poor space inside the car.

Compared with small Japanese SUVs of the same level, the wheelbase of the Mazda CX-30 is not short, but because the passenger compartment is more compact and rearward, the interior space, especially the rear space, is as always not satisfactory.

“I feel depressed to open the panoramic sunroof!” The panoramic sunroof? Don't even think about it, it is impossible for Mazda to give you a panoramic sunroof, even the CX-9 medium and large SUV only has a “small sunroof”. Mazda engineers will tell you that, regardless of reliability, the panoramic sunroof will reduce the rigidity of the car body and affect safety. In addition, the panoramic sunroof glass will increase the weight of the roof, which runs counter to Mazda's pursuit of low center of gravity and driving pleasure…

Of course, brand positioning and interior space are only part of the factors that make Mazda's sales volume unable to compete with Toyota and Volkswagen. In addition, the overall product strength, production capacity, sales channels, marketing promotion, etc. may also be improved in every ring of Mazda. Space. But as a consumer or a fan of Mazda, the reality of “small and beautiful” is not a bad thing.

Soul Motion 2.0 is to do subtraction?

As Mazda announced in 2017 in the “Zoom-zoom Declaration of Sustainability 2030” plan, the brand-new KODO DESIGN 2.0 mass production model will arrive as scheduled in 2019. The Changan Mazda 3 Angkesaila and CX-30 is the embodiment of the new design language.

Maeda Ikuo, Head of Mazda Design Division and Executive Director, has a clear explanation of the latest generation of soul-moving design: “Breathing Life Into The Car” gives life to the car, it pursues elegance and balance, and emphasizes the subtractive aesthetics of “Less is more” , Eliminate all non-essential design elements, and use light and shadow to shape the details.

As a leading figure in Mazda design, Maeda Ikuo said in an interview many years ago, “Now our country’s animation industry is already well-known in the world. In addition, in certain technical fields, we are also called world-class. The impression of the car is still “cheap and durable”, which undoubtedly gave me a strong sense of crisis.”

When Ikio Maeda just stepped into the field of car design, I looked around and saw that the design of German car companies generally borrowed from the Bauhaus architectural concept and shaped their own modern design style; Nordic car companies are in the furniture, groceries and lifestyle. Take inspiration and infuse Scandinavian style into car design. How to integrate the national culture into Japanese car design is a question he has been thinking about.

What do those design theories that sound “fictional” in the designer's mouth mean? Let's use two cars to compare and show the difference between Soul Motion 1.0 and Soul Motion 2.0.

If you carefully observe the side surfaces of the two cars above, you will slowly understand Maeda's subtractive aesthetics. The new generation of Soul Motion design makes the car look cleaner and tidy, but you won't find it monotonous and boring.

In the eyes of Mazda designers, simplicity and monotony are not related words. Based on the new generation of Soul Motion design, Mazda's body design is always doing subtraction. For example-Mazda fog lamp design changes. From Soul Motion 1.0 to Soul Motion 2.0 design, after the model iteration, you will find that the fog lights are getting smaller and smaller, and even the latest Mazda 3 Angkesaila directly cancels the fog lights.

If the subtraction is not handled properly in the design, it will often make a car look monotonous, just like if a piece of clothing is solid color and does not have any patterns or patterns, it will look dull. Pursuing simplicity and avoiding monotony, Mazda still uses carefully designed curved surfaces.

In the eyes of designer Ma Ke, the design of this household SUV worth more than 100,000 yuan is pleasantly surprised. It can be said that it is his most recognized design work in the same level. Mazda has raised the importance of car design to a very high level. Many careful details can be found on the Mazda CX-30, which is difficult to show all in one article. Is it really that perfect? Do not! He believes that there are also some controversies in the design circle for the new generation of soul movement design.

Controversy 1:

The upper part of the rear fender is often referred to as the “shoulder” position. Most models will be designed with lines or contours to increase muscle and sportiness, but whether it is the CX-30 or the overseas hatchback Mazda 3, In this position, a “blank” design is also adopted. This kind of design without a “shoulder” is not understood by many designers.

Controversy two:

In order to make this circle of black decorative panels look too heavy, Mazda designers drew some lines on the panel to reduce this heavy feeling visually as soon as possible, but it is still difficult to smooth this feeling from certain angles. Everyone will get used to it for a while.

Interior design is also very moving

The interior design of Soul Motion 2.0 also follows this approach to pursuing simplicity. The Mazda 3 Angkerra and CX-30 are more restrained in the design elements of the car than the previous models. There is no uncoordinated large screen and no complexity. With a large number of function buttons or touch buttons, everything is kept simple, but still retains the functional attributes of the application.

The CX-30 also echoes the soul-moving design language in the exterior in the interior, which is more extreme than the new generation of Angkesaila. For example, the shaping of the door interior panels is very soul-moving 2.0.

Mazda has cancelled the touch function of the central control screen, which is simply a counterpoint to the times! Nowadays, most car companies are talking about “virtual cockpit”, the screens in the car are getting bigger and more, and the Mazda 3 Angkesaila and CX-30 have returned to pure physical buttons. What do you think? The official explained that, “After studying that the driver will unconsciously apply torque to the steering wheel when operating the touch screen while driving, which will cause the vehicle’s driving route to shift; in addition, staring at the screen will also increase the chance of a traffic accident.”

In order to make a comparison, let's take a look at the central control panel of the competitor Toyota C-HR and the Chinese new car company Ideal ONE.

All in all, Mazda said that because of safety considerations, they are more inclined to choose physical buttons and cancel touch screen operations. I don’t know if you, who are accustomed to touch screens in your life, like this anti-epoch design, but it seems that Mazda recognizes the physical button control.

——Write at the end

At the end of the article, let’s discuss a topic: Which brand can represent the most beautiful Japanese design? Toyota? Honda? Nissan? Mazda? Subaru? Mitsubishi? Infiniti? …

As mentioned above, Mazda's soul-moving design is pursuing the artistic sense of simplicity, paying attention to the light and shadow changes produced by the curved surface to shape the beauty. Of course, there is no distinction between beauty and ugliness in styling design, it can only be said that the design ideas of the two are different. Mazda and Lexus have different positioning, different consumer groups, a civilian brand and a luxury brand, perhaps two Japanese car companies have found the most suitable design route for them, it is no longer important who is the most beautiful Japanese design.

Two former Audi designers, Ma Ke and Xu Yixiong, expressed their views. They believe that Mazda design is more popular in Europe, and Mazda models are more likely to be recognized by Europeans. It is similar to the “Less is more” in the West. The design philosophy is exactly the same.

But we all know that Mazda, desperately pursuing this kind of aesthetics, has many shortcomings, such as small space, no large screen, etc., which really discourages many consumers. Mazda has always been adhering to its stubborn car-making concept and is unwilling to build more popular models like Toyota and Honda, so it has never had a sales advantage. But to be honest, I don't hope that Mazda will one day build a car that is as hot as the Corolla in the world, but I hope it will always be a niche, and always create those niche cars that make people move.

Past review:

First issue: Bystander: What does luxury plus sports equal?

Phase II: Onlookers: Interpretation of Volkswagen Group's dual-flower SUV models

Phase 3: Bystander Auto Show Special: The designer's most impressive car

Phase 4: Bystander: Interpretation of the new generation of Nissan Sylphy design

Phase 5: Bystanders: Interpretation of FAW Mazda's new Atez design

Issue 6: Bystander: How to design a beautiful fastback SUV

Issue Seven: Bystander: Interpretation of the styling design of the Land Rover Discovery Sport Edition