In Japanese, the word kiyora means clean and pure. When a carmaker chooses this name for its new concept car, the environmental technologies on board and the car’s design have to deliver what the name promises.
And Mazda is doing just that. At the Paris International Motor Show, the carmaker unveiled its concept of a new environmentally friendly compact car that is intended to appeal to young European city drivers. In meeting the huge challenge of translating the “pure water” theme into a visually prominent design, the Mazda Motor Europe team received support from BASF Coatings for colors and materials.
Designers from the two companies collaborated closely to produce a blue-green color that created a sensation among both visitors from the automotive sector and the general public at the Kiyora’s debut. After all, the finish does an ideal job of symbolizing the color of water. What's more, the overall design of the car, with its blue-green finish, the transparent polycarbonate doors, the interior with its wave-shaped forms and the side members of the body that resemble flowing seaweed, produces an effect that Luciana Silvares, Senior Designer at Mazda Motor Europe, describes as follows: “The exterior finish stands for water. The lower you go, the darker the color of the water becomes. With the Kiyora, we wanted to produce the impression of water, ice, seas and lakes, by showing transparency and depth.”
The man in charge of this project for BASF Coatings is Stefan Richter, Key Account Manager OEM Aftersales for automotive refinish products. During a visit to the Mazda Design Studio in Oberursel near Frankfurt, he became acquainted with the project – and tackled the big job. “It was fantastic how employees from our automotive OEM coatings and refinish coatings units collaborated with the designers from Mazda Motor Europe for several weeks. They kept on developing ideas, refining them and, in the end, came up with a really beautiful solution,” said Richter, praising all aspects of the teamwork. BASF Coatings designer Mark Gutjahr and his counterparts at Mazda, Maria Greger (Senior Designer Color & Material Design) and Luciana Silvares (Senior Designer Color & Material), worked closely together to develop the color. The designers were supported by BASF Coatings' colorimetry experts from the refinish coatings unit and the paint experts at the Mazda Motor Europe GmbH European R&D Center (MRE) in Oberursel. “The cross-divisional and company-wide cooperation was super. The idea of developing an environmentally friendly urban car and using lots of new future technologies was reinforced by the car's aesthetic features. The finish expresses the transparency and depth of water and is in complete harmony with the exterior design,” Richter said.