Mazda’s concept unveiled at Detroit looked somewhat familiar to the Nagare concept recently unveiled at the Los Angeles show. That’s no mistake. The Ryuga, according to Mazda, is the next step in the evolution of the Nagare and, according to executive vice pesident Bob Graziano, shows “global design cues for the next generation of Mazda vehicles.”
A Japanese term referring to flow, nagare is applied as a design philosophy that embodies motion in forms. For instance, the ripples on the side of the car are inspired by those made by a breeze over water, while the dramatic, streaky headlamps are styled from morning dew on bamboo leaves. “The flow expressions that Nagare and Ryuga embody will be seen both in the near term on other concept cars and in the long term on production models,” said general manager of design Laurens van den Acker.
In addition to exterior design and styling, interior efficiency is an important part of the design. Although the Ryuga is significantly smaller than the RX-8 sports car, and about a foot lower than a Mazda3, it can accommodate four adults. Entry and exit is easy through the gull-wing doors.
Power for the concept is provided by a 2.5-liter, four-cylinder flex-fuel engine, capable of running on E85, gasoline, or a mix.
Mazda also displayed the new Tribute HEV on its stand. As its sibling, the Ford Escape Hybrid, the Tribute HEV delivers 155 hp altogether from the gasoline-electric hybrid powertrain and complies with strict SULEV-II emissions standards.