Shinari concept heading to Melbourne

The list of concepts and new models set to land in Melbourne for July's Australian International Motor Show (AIMS) continues to grow.

This week, Mazda has confirmed its stylish Shinari concept will headline the Japanese carmaker's stand.

Fresh from appearances in Milan, Shanghai, Los Angeles and Geneva, the Shinari represents the next-generation of Mazda's styling language, dubbed simply 'Kodo - Soul of Motion'.

Kodo is the work of Mazda's new global design boss Ikuo Maeda, responsible most notably for the look of the RX-8 four-door sports coupe and, at the other end of the spectrum, the Mazda2 hatch.

The new styling language succeeds the Nagare theme developed by Maeda's predecessor Laurens van den Acker, now vice-president of design for Renault.

In the Shinari, the first of two concepts developed under the new direction (the second being the Minagi/CX-5 compact SUV), the Kodo style introduces slimmer headlights and tail-lights than most of the current Nagare-inspired Mazda range.

It also features a new development of Mazda's signature 'smile' grille, along with sharper character lines along the body and flanks.

Maeda says the ultimate goal of the Kodo language is to convey energetic motion, evoking "emotion and affection" in the viewer.

For showgoers at this year's AIMS in Melbourne, the Shinari represents a first look at what lies ahead for future Mazda models.

"This design will lead to the next generation of Mazda design and will lead to other elements," Maeda said at last year's unveiling of the Shinari.

Although it is the first concept to feature the Kodo styling, the upcoming Minagi-inspired CX-5 compact SUV is expected to be the first to bring the new direction to the market.

The Australian International Motor Show opens at 6pm on Friday 1 July and runs through until Sunday 10 July at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Other new models and concepts confirmed for the 2011 AIMS include the Toyota Prius V and Prius C, the Suzuki Swift S-Concept, the Range Rover Evoque, the Toyota FT-86 II Concept, the 2012 Audi A6 and the 2012 Jaguar XF.

Appearances have also been confirmed for the all-new Lamborghini Aventador, the Lexus LF-Gh concept, and a preview of Australian carmaker JOSS Developments' upcoming JT1 supercar.

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