Mazda Reveals Shinari Concept Car

  • Looks like: A villain from the "Transformers" movies
  • Defining characteristics: Coupe profile with four doors, gaping grille, mostly glass roof
  • Ridiculous features: Slitlike side mirrors, white bucket seats
  • Chance of being mass-produced: Mazda says the Shinari is only a design study, but we wouldn't be surprised if elements of it  especially the front grille  find their way to Mazda production cars.

The Shinari concept car is a vision of what a four-door Mazda sports car might look like. Even though it has four doors, the Shinari looks more like a coupe from many angles. It's a design theme that's increasingly being used in production cars like the Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class and Jaguar XF.

Many of Mazda's U.S. models have adopted grilles that give them a happy-face look, and the Shinari shows where this design could lead in the future, with its more angular appearance that transforms the smile shape into more of a shield. Pinched headlights and taillights and muscular body panels combine to give the concept a menacing presence. Since the Mazda smiley face hasn't been universally well-received, we wonder if this new look will be adopted sooner rather than later.

Inside, the dashboard has been shaped with a focus on the driver. The four white bucket seats are a mainstay of concept cars, which aren't limited by the wear-and-tear concerns of production cars. The roof, meanwhile, features multiple clear panels.

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Senior Editor Mike Hanley is a father of three boys; he reviews new cars, admires classic cars and has embraced the minivan lifestyle.  Email Mike