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Very occasionally car makers decide that with all the automotive expertise at their disposal, the best possible thing they can do is build something that isn’t a car.
The latest example of this kind of thinking is Mazda, which has built a bicycle and a sofa.
The two objects, built for its “Mazda Design: The Car as Art,” currently underway in the Italian city of Milan. According to Mazda, they’re meant to reflect the KODO-Soul of Motion design theme seen in Mazda’s new-generation vehicles. The theme, it says, expresses “a powerful motion full of life, such as that displayed by animals in the wild”.
Here’s what Mazda has to say about the bicycle:
“Bike by KODO concept” is a track racer that seeks to express the innate beauty of the bicycle. Its minimalist structure is composed of the least possible number of parts. The frame was painstakingly formed by hammering a single sheet of steel and the black leather saddle is hand-stitched, featuring the same red thread and stitch design as the all-new Mazda MX-5. The bicycle’s mixture of dynamism and allure is evocative of the Mazda MX-5’s styling.
Given that it’s a one-off art piece, we wouldn’t be surprised if it costs as much as a new MX5 too.
As for the sofa, well Mazda’s reckons it’s evocative of the CX-3:
“Sofa by KODO concept,” a collaborative effort between Mazda’s designers and Italian furniture makers, exhibits an exquisite blend of Mazda Design’s refined sensibilities and fine Italian craftsmanship backed by a long tradition of furniture-making. The form of the sofa is as honed as that of the all-new Mazda CX-3 and evokes the strong stance common to all Mazda’s new-generation vehicles.
“Over the past few years, design has become an essential part of who we are, adding an artistic value to the entire Mazda brand experience,” said Masahiro Moro, Mazda’s Managing Executive Officer, in charge of Global Marketing, Customer Service and Sales Innovation. “As such, it only makes sense that we introduce our design messages here in Milan, a city of the apex of the design world, in order to elevate our brand image. Moving forward, we will create more opportunities to familiarize customers with Mazda and Mazda design in order to raise the value of our brand and strengthen our bond with customers.”