The Mazda RX-VISION has won the 2016 Car Design Award in the concept car category. Bestowed for the most noteworthy contribution to the evolution of automobile design, it’s another accolade for Mazda’s striking sports car prototype and, of course, for the company’s designers. Kevin Rice, European design director at Mazda, accepted the prize yesterday at the Turin Motor Show Parco Valentino.
“Obviously I’m delighted at the recognition we’re getting at Mazda for our efforts, not only in the design arena but also for the technology that enables our vehicles to live up to what their looks promise,” said Rice, who is part of the global design unit that took home three awards last fall from the 2015 Automotive Brand Contest, including Team of the Year. “Wherever we’ve shown the RX-VISION thus far, people keep telling us how fantastic it looks. The tremendously positive reaction has exceeded even our own expectations.”
The RX-VISION secured the prize ahead of a notable group of shortlisted rivals including the Alpine Vision Concept, BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage, Pininfarina H2 Speed Concept and Porsche Mission E Concept. The Mazda already took home Most Beautiful Concept Car of the Year at the 31st Festival Automobile International in Paris in January, not long after making its world debut last November at the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show.
In a nod to Mazda’s legacy of front engine, rear-wheel drive sports cars, RX-VISION’s sleek shapes, inspired by the company’s much-lauded KODO – Soul of Motion design philosophy, epitomise pure performance. Its low-slung design also owes much to the compact nature of what is hidden under the bonnet, namely the next-generation SKYACTIV-R rotary engine. Mazda is the only carmaker to make a market success of this unusual technology, and has never given up on it.
The 2016 Car Design Award featured prizes in three categories, including production vehicles and brand design language. An 11-member jury of editors and representatives from high-profile car magazines on four continents selected the winners from vehicles presented during the past year. Originally launched in 1984, the Car Design Award is organised by Auto & Design. The magazine resurrected the contest this year after a 19-year hiatus.