The Mazda Sassou Concept Car

Mazda Sassou

Mazda Sassou

Mazda will present an exciting Zoom-Zoom design concept at this year’s Frankfurt Motor Show in September with the world premiere of the Mazda SASSOU (‘sa-so’) - a small, lightweight, three-door hatchback powered by a turbocharged, three-cylinder, 1.0-litre MZR DISI (Direct Injection Spark Ignition) gasoline engine. The Mazda Sassou design concept indicates a possible direction Mazda might take for a future B-segment vehicle.

Conceived and designed at Mazda’s European R & D centre in Oberursel, near Frankfurt, Mazda Sassou is a lightweight, three-door hatchback that provides young, first-time buyers with a vehicle that makes urban driving fun, highly practical and economical.

The exterior design evolves Zoom-Zoom design language to communicate the dynamic potential Mazda design is known for, and mixes this with lightness and surprising hidden features never seen on a Mazda concept before.

The Mazda Sassou design concept is based in part on the "Shoji" principle. Shoji screens are thin Japanese doors that partially hide what is behind them. Opening them for the first time can reveal something surprising, which is also true of a first encounter with Mazda Sassou.

For instance, an ingenious use of translucent plastic hides the front and rear lamps, which only become visible once the car is unlocked, with light pulsing around the exterior light graphics in a way that makes the car seem to come alive.

The Shoji principle is carried over into Mazda Sassou’s interior, an experience that begins when opening the door. The concept’s interior systems are conceived to be used with a universal serial bus (USB) stick key that functions in place of a traditional key and includes a remote central locking function.

Using this as an interface, the driver can operate all the important functions through a screen in the centre stack. When a function is selected, light circuits illuminate a path to the selected feature, enhancing the Mazda Alive aspect of the concept even further.

The USB stick key also provides new levels of convenience, as it can be downloaded at home with music and favourite hot spots, which can then be uploaded onto the car’s hard disc drive and navigation system. Mazda Sassou also has advanced comfort and room for either three or four occupants. It employs a rear seat morphing system that uses compressed air for seating one passenger in the middle of the back seat area, or two passengers.

Published 1 September 2005 Melanie Carter

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