If you're going to design a concept car then you may as well make it as barmy as possible. Someone at Mazda's design studio obviously feels the same way, as their latest show model - the Taiki, taking pride of place at the Tokyo Auto Show - is a triumph of bizarre stretches, arches, flourish and, generally, madness incarnate (see what I did there?) Underneath the crazy skin, however, lies an all too serious RENESIS rotary engine (developed from the comedy-named Wankel) that is all set to power future roadgoing Mazda models which require both efficiency and performance.
Inspired, apparently, by "the flowing robes that enable a celestial maiden to fly in Japanese legend" (and yes, that's the press release talking), to my jaded eyes the bodywork looks as though they've heated it in the microwave and then encouraged it to sag and warp - the alloys are a particular triumph, looking as though they were spun before the aluminium itself had fully hardened.
Practically speaking, the design is also meant to improve aerodynamics and, in turn, reduce the amount of energy wasted pushing a big chunk of steel through the air. While I doubt we'll see the Taiki on the road anytime soon, Mazda are keen to let us know that this is a window onto the future of their production range.
Mazda Taiki [Jalopnik]