(Source Mazda )
essence of Mazda’s Zoom-Zoom spirit is providing customers with
stylish, insightful, spirited products capable of enriching their
lives in exciting ways. At this year’s North American
International Auto Show, Mazda is presenting Kabura, a design
concept that ventures beyond the compact sports coupe norm to
explore several fresh ideas that could appear in future production
deliver the true “Soul of a Sportscar” that is the essence
of every Mazda, Kabura incorporates the front-engine, rear-drive
layout universally admired by driving enthusiasts and long
delivered by Mazda’s MX-5 and rotary-engined sportscars.
support youthful lifestyles, Kabura stretches the bounds of
interior versatility in radical directions. Replacing the
typical 2+2 layout is a clever 3+1 arrangement which establishes
a new interior concept giving greater passenger comfort versus a
traditional coupe without increasing weight or size. Obliging
spur-of-the-moment adventures and shopping sprees, all passenger
seats fold flat to make way for snow boards, shopping bags and
all the tools of an active life .
Kabura has the presence of an exotic sports car, it has the
practicality and affordability that youth can yearn for and
150 bhp @6000 rpm
Acceleration 0-62 mph
KABURA: The First
Arrow Launched Into Battle
is a Japanese term taken from “KABURA-ya”, an arrow that makes a
howling sound when fired and was historically used to signal the
start of a battle. The “first arrow into battle” depicts
Mazda’s spirit of pursuing unique and exciting ventures - such as
the rotary engine.
Kabura is not only the first Mazda compact coupe for the 21 st
century, it’s also the first project guided by Mazda North
American Operations’ (MNAO) Director of Design Franz von
Holzhausen, who joined Mazda in February 2005. The 37-year-old von
Holzhausen studied industrial design at Syracuse University and
graduated from the prestigious Art Center College of Design in
Pasadena , Calif.
Kabura, we set out to use innovative design to rekindle the passion
for driving,” notes von Holzhausen. “Our intention is to rouse
the segment with some intravenous creativity. While we have no plans
at the moment to build a production version of Kabura, it is not a
complete flight of fancy. It embodies several innovations Mazda
could implement when a compact sports coupe, steeped in Zoom-Zoom,
is ready for production.”
According to a recent survey performed by a major research
organization, Mazda’s new-car customers are the second youngest in
North America , at only 41 years of age .
Generation-Y buyers are several steps ahead of the latest trends and
constantly on the lookout for affordable possessions that satisfy
their hunger for stylish, insightful and spirited designs. One of
Kabura’s roles is exposing a likely future design direction to
today’s demanding customers.
Power is supplied to Kabura’s rear wheels by a 2.0-liter version
of Mazda’s highly respected MZR DOHC 16-valve engine and through
to 245/35R19 Bridgestone Potenza front tires and 245/35R20 tires at
the rear. While this concept has been constructed over several MX-5
chassis components, basic dimensions fall between Mazda’s MX-5 and
Were the Kabura design study to achieve production status, it would
likely be a stand-alone product rather than an extension of any
existing model line.
Holzhausen describes Kabura’s exterior as “a nimble-looking
fuselage with a powerful stance, pronounced wheel arches and taut
surfaces.” He adds , “Every line flows into another with no open
ends. Surfaces are drawn tight over the wheel arches, the way a
spider’s web stretches between anchor points.”
While Kabura’s profile is reminiscent of classic coupes, the
windshield and forward portion of the roof are integrated into one
seamless glass surface that extends from the cowl to the B-pillar.
Admitting extra light enhances the interior’s feeling of airy
space. Overhead portions of the glass have adjustable tinting so
that the driver can twist a knob on bright days to change the
roof’s opacity, as desired, from clear to completely opaque.
Behind its B-pillar, Kabura has a two-piece glass hatch. The
uppermost glass panel normally lies flush. When pivoted-up by an
electric motor, the way ailerons rise out of an airplane wing, this
panel serves three purposes: it acts as a roof spoiler, it vents air
from the interior and it greatly augments the rear passengers’
headroom. In addition, a photovoltaic solar cell in the panel helps
to control ambient temperature as well as recharge the battery. The
larger glass hatch panel has side-mounted hinges to provide ready
access to Kabura’s spacious cargo compartment.
examining the habits and tastes of our youthful customers, we found
that the majority have a need to carry one or at most two passengers
in comfort, while a very small percentage actually use the fourth
seat on limited occasions,” von Holzhausen continues, noting the
level of research and planning that goes into the creation of a
major automaker’s concept vehicle. “Clearly, the standard 2+2
compact coupe configuration with restricted rear access and limited
seating space doesn’t work in this context, so we created a 3+1
layout for Kabura that resolves those shortcomings”.
A standard left-side door provides access to the driver’s cockpit
and the rear jump seat. The right side is a wholly different and
purposely asymmetrical arrangement. Removing the glovebox and
minimizing the instrument panel allowed designers to shift the front
passenger six-inches ahead of the driver’s seating position. In
turn, the second passenger, sitting in tandem behind the right-front
passenger, enjoys approximately the same leg, shoulder, and
Developed on the RX-Evolv and RX-01 showcars, Mazda designers
invented the rear-hinged freestyle doors to improve the RX-8’s
rear-seat access. Kabura proves that inspiration can strike twice in
pursuit of spirited, stylish design that provides customers more
than they ever dreamed possible.
To maintain a sleek roofline while offering rear access that’s
vastly superior to what’s available in today’s compact coupes,
von Holzhausen’s team designed Kabura with an extra right-side
door. After the front door is opened, touching a button slides the
bonus door straight back and out of the way.
Instead of swinging on hinges as in the innovative Mazda RX-8, this
additional door glides neatly into a cavity notched into the
rear-quarter panel area the way a pocket door disappears into a
house wall. “Kabura may be the first compact coupe where no
passenger has to call ‘shotgun!’ to avoid the second-class
citizen treatment,” von Holzhausen pointed out.
FORM AND FUNCTION
MEET THE FUTURE
on Kabura’s innovative styling and interior packaging, von
Holzhausen’s team decided that introducing a level of
sustainability and recyclability was a critical part of the concept.
By partnering with Sustainable Solutions, Inc (SSI), a leader in
reengineering post-industrial waste materials into quality consumer
products, Mazda shows it has an eye toward the future in everything
Kabura's interior is produced from SSI's innovative regenerated
leather substrate. Itself produced from 100-percent post-industrial
waste - in this case, much of the waste was material recovered from
the manufacturing of Nike brand athletic shoes - SSI's leather-grind
is able to be dyed and printed in any color or design and appears in
Kabura as a technical yet inviting material.
Mazda North American Operations is responsible for the sales and
marketing, customer parts and service support of Mazda vehicles in
the United States . Headquartered in Irvine , Calif. , MNAO has more
than 700 dealerships nationwide.