We first told you about Mazda’s Minagi concept in January; back then, it was nothing more than a design rendering, but Mazda’s been working overtime to roll out a Minagi concept vehicle in time for this week’s Geneva Auto Show. Designed to be a replacement for Mazda’s aging (and Ford-sourced) Trubute SUV, the Minagi is the first Mazda vehicle penned under their new Kodo design language. Meant to personify the “Soul of Motion”, the Kodo styling is a lot less goofy than their outgoing design, and that should definitely help bring customers back into showrooms. Designed as an “urban SUV”, the Minagi blends the handling that Mazda is known for with their new Skyactiv engine and transmission technology, for maximum fuel economy.
Inside, the Minagi features a driver-focused cockpit that emphasizes a “hand crafted” feel. The angular lines of the exterior are carried into the interior, which uses an artful blend of dark tones offset by red stitching and metal accents. Thankfully, there isn’t a single piece of faux carbon fiber or fake wood in sight, and I actually like their clean dash design. The show car features highlights that will never see production (like polished, billet-aluminum door handles), but I still think that Mazda can execute the basic design with quality materials at a reasonable price. They haven’t had a competitive compact SUV / crossover in quite a few years, so the Minagi may be just what Mazda needs to revitalize sales. The question is, how quickly can they bring this to market?