Wind in the Willows: The Mazda Hakaze

Mazda Hakaze

Have you ever noticed how Asians can manage to capture in one word what Americans need an entire phrase to convey? ‘Hakaze’ means ‘wind blowing through leaves of a tree’ in Japanese and succinctly captures the essence of the crossover concept coupe that made its flashy debut at the Geneva Auto Show in March.

Road and Track had the chance to test drive the Hakaze and liked what it saw. The new concept seats 4 and features a 258 hp 4 cylinder powertrain with all-wheel drive. Exterior highlights include a clear glass top, streamlined ridges around the body, and rotating doors that open up at a 45 degree angle to the ground. The interior features a rectangular steering wheel, sensor-based console controls, and seats made from neoprene, a synthetic rubber often used in wetsuits and insulation.

So when can you try out the Hakaze for yourself? Don’t hold your breath. While the crossover looks intriguing, Mazda intended the Hakaze as a means to an end. In this case, the design and dimensions should find their way into an as-yet-unnamed SUV set to arrive in late 2009. For now, the current Mazda lineup should suffice until the winds of change blow into your local showroom.

– posted by Taeho Lim