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Mazda Wins Design Grand Prize in Paris

February 8th, 2008


Leverkusen, 7th February 2008. Mazda Motor Corporation has won the coveted Grand Prix du Design at the 23rd Festival Automobile International in Paris. Laurens van den Acker, General Manager of the Design Division of Mazda Motor Corporation, accepted the award yesterday at a gala ceremony held at the exclusive Les Invalides in Paris. This is the second major design prize for Mazda at the Festival Automobile International in Paris: in 2006, Mazda Senku was chosen “Most Beautiful Design Concept.” Another concept car, the Mazda Ryuga, was recently awarded the prestigious Louis Vuitton Classic Concept Award 2007 as well.

The Grand Prize for Design honours the work of a design studio or a manufacturer, and its influence on the automotive world. Mazda’s design team now joins an elite group of past recipients that includes some of the world’s most influential car designers. “This award reflects creativity and hard work of Mazda’s entire global design team. To accept it on their behalf is a great honour for me personally,” said Laurens van den Acker.

During the last 16 months, Mazda’s international design team has introduced five concept cars based on a new design language called Nagare. The word “Nagare” is Japanese for “flow” and “the embodiment of movement” and takes its inspiration from how natural forces like wind and water move in nature. Embodied by a unique surface language, and combined with form and proportion, it communicates movement in a new way.

Mazda Nagare concept car, for instance, (LA Motor Show 2006) has surface articulation inspired by geological flow patterns, while the Mazda Ryuga (Detroit Motor Show 2007) has a side body texture inspired by Japanese raked gardens. Mazda Hakaze (Geneva Motor Show 2007) is inspired by sand dunes and Taiki* (Tokyo Motor Show 2007) visualises the natural flow of air, while Mazda Furai (Detroit Motor Show 2008) displays flow lines in a strongly sports car style.

The Festival Automobile International is held annually to “pay tribute to beauty, design and art” in the automotive industry. This year’s jury consisted of leading figures from the sports car industry, architecture, fashion, design, art and the media. Its Chairman is architect Jean-Michel Wilmotte, and its members include well-known people from the design and automotive worlds like Anne Asensio, Alain Prost and Hervé Poulain. For more information, please visit www.festivalautomobile.com.

* Mazda Taiki will also be shown at the 2008 Geneva Motor Show next month.

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