Mazda’s Sexy Kai Concept Steals The Show [50 Pics]

So the Mazda Kai Concept is essentially a preview of the 2019 Mazda3 hatchback and the first thing that hits you like a sledgehammer is the design; a striking shape with clean lines and very dynamic proportions make the Kai concept one of the most impressive displays in this year’s Tokyo Motor Show.

The concept itself features a 50mm longer wheelbase than the current Mazda3 which should translate into more room inside and better handling. The final production car will ride on Mazda’s upcoming Skyactiv Vehicle Architecture, which is designed to offer “more comfortable and less tiring driving” and aims for “the ultimate connection between driver and car”.

Power will come from Mazda’s next-gen Skyactiv-X petrol engine which features the innovative Spark Controlled Compression Ignition (SPCCI) in order to achieve a 20 to 30 percent improvement in fuel efficiency. Some engines in the Skyactiv-X family will also come with a supercharger so prepare to get excited.

The less-is-more aesthetic continues inside, where the Kai concept clearly drew some inspiration from the RX-Vision concept with a driver-oriented cockpit that features a high center console and a simple yet elegant dashboard. There’s a perfect horizontal symmetry inside, with the driver getting a three-gauge cluster and some ventilation in front of him and nothing more.

By the time it reaches production, expect to see things like the huge 20-inch alloy wheels and the four-seat setup inside gone but hopefully Mazda will hear our cries and leave the rest as it is.


  • Bash

    Cant really tell if the Steering wheel is too big or the center piece and the gear shifter are just too small. But obviously a very cool car.

    • SgtBeavis

      It’s the gear selector. It’s a bit small. However it’s an automatic, so is there really such a thing as too small?

      • Bash

        Yes, your brain.

  • Matthijs

    Stunning! Please don’t change too much and try to keep these proportions !

    • Carmaker1

      You can’t really ask for that. Only hope the serial production car is not too far off. Design of the 3 / Axela BM-BN replacement was locked-in by late summer 2016. It is a done deal and was the inspiration of this Kai Concept, developed over the past year (looking at previous Mazda concepts).

  • Dennis James

    Or maybe not so sexy. Looks like a pooping dog.

  • Chad Gordon

    I Own a current Gen 3s GT so I’m already a Mazda fanboy, but I gotta say there isnt a bad angle on this thing!

    • Victor Ferreira

      I feel the same way. I was thinking about upgrading the daily but might just wait and trade it in for one of these new ones when they’re out!

      • Chad Gordon

        Well here’s to hoping it doesn’t lose too much of what we love about it as it gets “Productionized” (I know that’s not a real word, I just made it up.)

  • ctk4949

    Front end just needs normal headlights, smaller C pillar, normal side view mirrors, rear end is gonna need a bumper, raise it, normal size wheels, normal sunroof, normal door handle, and that should do it for the outside. 🙂

    • SgtBeavis

      That’s about right for taking this from concept to production. The interior though looks pretty much ready for the factory.

      • Carmaker1

        It’s not really “concept to production”, more like the reverse…

  • exeptor

    Something says Alfa here. Can’t say what exactly, but it is not only the color :).

  • SgtBeavis

    I can’t think of a car brand, in the last 20 years, that just keeps making progressively beautiful cars. Mazda’s cars just keep getting more and more strikingly gorgeous. Now if we could just get the performance to match.

    Mazdaspeed 3 this bad boy.

    • willhaven

      Their concepts are stunning, but their production cars are sort of mediocre. The design language doesn’t work well with economy car attributes (black plastic, small wheels, large windows, etc.). Both the 3 and the 6 look a bit malproportioned even though their concepts looked amazing.

      • renesis 16x

        And yet they still look better than the majority of their rivals…

        • willhaven

          But that wasn’t my criticism…

  • Blade t

    At least the pics are nice and dark….

  • ErnieB

    That interior is near perfection!

  • pureworx

    way better looking than the alfa it triggers memories of

  • john1168

    Very cool looking concept.

  • alexxx

    This is not sexy… THIS IS SEX!!!

  • Shut up and take my money

  • Nick099

    Mazda hits another one out of the park with a beautiful design.

  • SteersUright

    Stunning, just in need of a gorgeous powertrain to match the looks. Also, they need to try and remain as true to their concepts as possible, these designs are beautiful.


  • klowik

    looks really tempting, the rear tail light reminisce one of the Ferrari tail light..

  • Carmaker1

    The author of this article is being irresponsible, by what he suggestively wrote in the last paragraph. Please do not mislead or confuse readers with your own ignorance, of Mazda’s and probably other OEMs’ development processes.

    The Kai Concept is only a preview of the BO Axela aka MY2019 Mazda 3, not the inspiration as it currently stands. Currently in Tokyo, I am more than of aware of this fact and that a concept car like this, was based on the final design for the BO development programme that was decided on in Summer 2016.

    The majority of you glorified bloggers and that of your counterparts at places like Motor Trend and Jalopnik continually fail to get that and remain incorrigible. As an engineer with experience in production design for automotive OEMs, it is disappointing to come across such misleading information in my free time over and over throughout the years.

    As writers, is it is your job to inform the public not misinform them with contradictions. The majority of these “last minute concept cars” do not subsequently inspire production cars nor are they directly watered/dumbed down.

    What happens in reality, is that an OEM like Mazda started development of the BO in 2014 to succeed the current BM generation Axela aka 3. At the end of 2014, Mazda Design was wrapping up work on the mid-cycle BM facelift named “BN”. By 2016, the midlife facelift Bn was launched and a final design for the BO was approved. This is fact BTW.

    With time, advanced designers at Mazda Design were tasked with creating a concept car, to preview the BO Axela from ideation form and little compromise to the design. That became the Kai Concept. The BO Mazda 3 design is frozen (as in no changes), so making all the wishes to Mazda won’t mean nor do a thing in the world for it.

    Behaving like there is still time left for Mazda to change things on the next model, is delusional at best. Look at what happened to Lexus LF-FC and the 2018 LS. Car was too far along, to be affected by the concept.

  • Carmaker1

    This is one of the best compact concepts I have seen and looks even better in person. I commend Carscoops on how quick and up-to-date they are with news, even if the facts…

  • LeStori

    Another fine example of Japanese multi-team car design. The team designing the front forgot to talk to the the team designing the rear.

  • MarketAndChurch

    The two Mazdas are easily the “best of” from the Tokyo show, along with that retro Honda coupe.

  • Vassilis

    Another stunner!

  • Kamil Walecki

    Mazda Leon Cupra R

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