Mazda takes a stab at wrapping its new "Kodo: Soul of Motion" design language around the lithe proportions of a sporty sedan in December, when it will debut its Takeri concept at the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show.
The inverted, pentagonal grille and angry eyes of the Kodo style, which debuted first on the Shinari concept and will hit the road on the CX-5 small crossover, seem particularly suited for the Takeri sedan. From the looks of the photos, this could eventually manifest as the next incarnation of the Mazda6 midsize sedan. The Takeri isn't just a pretty face, though. Beneath her bonnet is a showcase of what Mazda is now ridiculously calling "Sustainable Zoom-Zoom." (I feel a bit silly just typing it.)
Essentially, the Takeri's conceptual power train consists of the SkyActiv-D clean diesel engine (I'm guessing it's the 175-horsepower, 309 pound-feet, 2.2-liter turbodiesel from the CX-5 crossover) with start-stop technology and the automaker's SkyActiv suite of chassis-weight-reduction and aerodynamic tweaks to boost the vehicle's fuel efficiency. Mazda then backs all of that up with a new regenerative braking system--a first for Mazda.
It wouldn't be a proper concept without a bit of high tech. Rather than heavy battery packs, the Takeri features a capacitor that stores the electricity regenerated by braking. Capacitors are very good at storing lots of energy for a quick discharge, so you'd think Mazda would tie this system into the engine's start-stop setup, but that's not the case. Mazda uses the regen system to provide power for the auxiliary electrical components (such as the air conditioner, headlights, and audio components), essentially replacing the Takeri's alternator with the capacitor and boosting fuel economy by reducing parasitic drag on the engine under load. Think the BMW 7 Series' EfficientDynamics braking regeneration system and it should start to make sense.
We'll have more details on the Takeri concept, the future of the Mazda6, and whether we can expect to see that regenerative braking system in production as more details emerge out of the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show starting December 3.