• May 10th 2008 at 4:31PM
  • 13
Click above for a high-res gallery, follow the jump for video

Meet the Biante, Mazda's new Japan-only 8-passenger minivan. The funky oversized headlamps, expansive greenhouse, and stylish frenched taillamps are the work of Iwao Koizumi, designer of the original Atenza (Mazda6 outside Japan) and CX-7.

Mazda announced the Biante earlier this week, and details are still a bit thin thin. According to the automaker, the new people-mover's name is derived from the word "ambient" and will deliver the most interior space in its class when it goes on sale later this summer. We expect to learn more technical info then, but in the meantime, we've got a promo video after the jump as well as a high-res photo gallery below.

If you can read Japanese, you can also stop by the official Biante website, which features a bunch of Gumby-like characters that represent a family of seven, plus one dog -- all of whom should fit in the new ride. You know, if they were real people. It's all very Japanese.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      I think this is very JDM. I'm not going to be all angsty because it looks different, or jaded because it's a box on wheels, but I think for what it is, it looks well thought out, for example look at the tracks for the seating in the floor-- configuration. The exterior lines are flowing, as promised and the headlight to corner glass phenomenon makes sense given the design philosophy. For whatever segment this vehicle fits in, it looks good!
      • 7 Years Ago
      I'm a huge Mazda fan, but I have to admit that this thing is very odd and quite hideous. I'm glad that we get the CX-9 here in the U.S. instead.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I see some C4 Picasso in there, maybe. Notable that the LW platform (mkII) MPV also had 8 passenger seating available everywhere else in the world (7 in the US), and the Premacy/Mazda5 offers 7 seats everywhere but the US (where it's 6), so I doubt this would come here with 8.
      • 7 Years Ago
      not sure u could call it seating for 8, looking at the middle "seat" in the second row. I think there's a reason the gumby family ad shows 7 and a dog.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Niiice headlights...
      • 7 Years Ago
      I'd take one over a lift kit cuv.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Not bad although I'd rather have the Ford S-Max.

      Those wheels look distinctly EU-Ford Focus
      • 7 Years Ago
      What's with the long nose, W12 under there?
      • 7 Years Ago
      Say what you will, but I like it a lot. It's bold enough for a van, but not too much to be hideous. Designing an interesting minivan is tricky business.
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