Snap Judgment: Was Mazda Right to End Nagare?

The introduction of the next-generation Mazda5 signals the end of Mazda’s free-flowing Nagare design theme. But was it the right decision to abandon it in favor of “thrusting motion?”

Mazda Europe’s new creative chief, Peter Birtwhistle, is looking to implement a new design direction, following the departure of global design head Laurens van den Acker. To that end, Birtwhistle’s proposal to dump Nagare, which has graced concept cars as zoom-zoomy as the Kiyora, Hakaze, Ryuga, Taiki, and Furai, is significant. Rumor has it that the new design theme, loosely translated, will be “thrusting motion,” though under a different name.

In 2008 we praised Mazda’s Nagare design theme, design editor Robert Cumberford said “the five (now six) Mazda design concepts show the potential for the design theme to be adapted to the entire range of Mazda production vehicles, each with its own characteristics, yet all clearly belonging to the same family.”

We’ve seen elements of flowing Nagare lines in the newest Mazda3 and Mazda6, but was it too soon to completely switch design direction?

Today’s Snap Judgment:
Is it the right decision to move away from Nagare?

Let us know what you think in the comments section over the weekend.