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Detroit Motor Show: Mazda Kabura


Forum Addict
Sep 7, 2004
Bradford, UK

Mazda's long-running MX-5 roadster and the rotary-engined RX-8 have proved so successful, Mazda is to launch another sports car. The Kabura concept car, unveiled at the Detroit Motor Show, is a four-seat hard-top sports coupe, developed to be accessible and affordable.

The Kabura is not just a tin-top MX-5, however: its cabin features a unique 3+1 seating arrangement, with foldaway passenger seats. It lies between the MX-5 and RX-8 in dimensions, with Mazda saying that were it "to achieve production status, it would likely be a standalone product rather than an extension of any existing model line."

Styled at Mazda's North American design centre under design director Franz von Holzhausen, the Kabura bears a clear resemblance to the MX-5 and RX-8 but is a little more futuristic. Its windscreen and front roof section are a single glass surface with electrochromatic tinting, to change the amount of light let into the cabin. Behind the B-pillar, a two-piece glass hatch contains a motorised panel, which can lift up to act as a roof spoiler or large sunroof to benefit the rear passengers. The panel incorporates a solar cell, which can generate enough electricity to augment the climate control system and recharge the battery; the larger glass panel has side-mounted hinges for easy access to the cargo bay.

Influenced by research that suggested that most customers of such cars, particularly younger buyers, rarely used all four seats in a 2+2 coupe, the Kabura has three proper-sized seats - two up front and one behind the front-seat passenger - and a fourth foldaway 'jump' seat which retracts to give luggage space. This layout is achieved by doing away with a glovebox and reducing the front facia on the passenger side, enabling that seat to be positioned a little further forward than the driver's.

The asymmetry continues, with the right-hand (passenger) side having an extra rear door, which - as with the RX-8's rear-hinged doors - can be opened only after the front door is opened. This "bonus door" slides into the rear-quarter panel at the touch of a button, rather than swinging on a hinge.

Further neat touches include the leather upholstery - or, as it is charmingly called, "regenerated leather substrate", which is reconstituted from the waste products from making Nike trainers. Such substrate is 100% recycled and can be dyed and printed in any colours.

Kabura is fitted with Mazda's 2.0-litre, 16-valve engine and sits on 19-inch wheels with low-profile tyres up front and 20-inchers at the rear.

Though it's very much a show car, the Kabura is certainly not entirely pie-in-the-sky. "While we have no plans at the moment to build a production version of Kabura", said von Holzhausen, "it is not a complete flight of fancy. It embodies several innovations Mazda could implement when a compact sports coupe is ready for production."

Want one- want one of those!!

No seriously, ive wanted a lightweight coup? ever since they stopped making the Toyota Corolla GT-S (AE86) and Nissan SX.

Ive looked at the

-S2000: too expensive, and a convertible;

-RX-8: gaz and oil guzzling summer only toy;

-MX-5: again a convertible.

The Kabura is finally a car I can have without any compromises.

Now, if they only make this car easy to mod....
I like it!

And just to note: that 3-door thing isn't new; Saturn's annoyed people with it since the beginning of time. So nyah.

Except i still think they should put a rotary in it and call it the RX-2
like they're gonna make sth that looks like that :?