October 1, 2012
By Grant Yoxon
Photo illustration by Chris Chase; Mazda6 photo courtesy Mazda
At one time an eager auto writer would have to drag around a large suitcase on wheels to carry all the press kits handed out during a press preview day at any important auto show. It was not unusual to see the uninitiated slogging around from press conference to press conference, weighed down with overstuffed giveaway bags.
You may not know that car makers are as adept at spinning out words as they are at spitting out cookie cutter cars from their factory doors. In the days before print became pixels the words came packaged in attractive, frequently elaborate, and typically expensive “kits”, often accompanied by a “souvenir” of some sort. Those wheeled cases filled up quickly.
Today, all one needs is a large front pocket to carry the USB drives. The bulky press kits are no longer; and swag is hard to come by, too.
But the words keep on coming. It is as if the public relations writers and contractors toiling away in world wide word factories were suddenly let free of weight restrictions. What? We can say whatever we want?
And auto writers have been struggling to make sense of the overflow of flattering prose and frivolous statistics ever since.
Mind you, some are better than others. Struggling through a bad translation from German is good bedtime reading. You’ll be out for the night before the end of the first sentence. Yawn.
But there is some entertaining reading too.
At a single glance, the exterior design conveys animalistic tenacity, dignity and a sporty flare through its smooth and powerful physique. The coordinated interior, in keynote black, is both chic and contemporary without compromising on a timeless feeling of luxury and quality.
If E. L. James could write as well, Fifty Shades of Grey might have been a good read.
The car—yes, a car, not Christian Grey—being described here is the 2014 Mazda6 sedan, introduced at the Moscow International Auto Salon in late August (no, I wasn’t there to witness it).
The new Mazda6 is based on the Mazda corporate design theme termed KODO (Mazda’s caps, not mine), which is translated or, more properly, expressed in ordinary English for us as “Soul of Motion” and is described as “the power and beauty that one sees in the instantaneous movement of animals or humans… the form displayed in the moment motion begins—for example the instant when a cheetah pounces on its prey.”
But the average consumer (or auto writer) probably doesn’t sit pondering, analyzing and questioning the current interpretation of Mazda’s corporate metaphor, like a sculpture placed in the middle of an otherwise empty white gallery. Mazda apparently expects we’ll get it “at a single glance.”