My initial impressions of the car were of confusion. I'm used to seeing clean, well-integrated designs from Mazda, whether it's their 3 series, the venerable Miata or even their racier RX-8, but this one recalls some of Hyundai's early styling missteps in muscle car territory, i.e. the Tiburon. I realize that most cars these days are designed by committee, but I've always felt the best designs have one powerfully talented designer overseeing the process and instilling a design consistency, but this one just seems all over the map.
While Autoblog doesn't share my negative opinion of the car's looks, they do shed a little light on how this design came to be:
While [Mazda Global Head of Design Ikuo] Maeda created the theme for the new stylistic direction, the development of the Shinari Concept was actually a collaboration between three of Mazda's design centers in Japan, Germany and the United States. The goal was to make the exterior a product of Japan, while the interior was left to the automaker's Irvine studio. However, each team had input on the final product.Sharp and pointy angles on the front, round and flowing lines on the back...it reminds me of a Manhattan city block, where different parts were designed individually with little thought given to the look of the integrated whole.