Mazda Furai Concept – Click above for high-res image gallery

According to Auto Express, Mazda Europe's British design boss Peter Birtwhistle has confirmed that the Japanese automaker will take on a new styling direction. Perhaps the news shouldn't come as a shocker, considering that former Mazda design head Franz von Holhausen, the man responsible for the previous styling direction of concepts like the Nagare and Furai, left Mazda for Tesla Motors back in 2008.

Further, Laurens van den Acker, who styled the latest Mazda5, left the Japanese automaker for Renault. As such, Birtwhistle told AE, "Nagare is done. After the 5, it's highly unlikely that there will be another Nagare car. Mazda has moved on." Apparently, Mazda found it rather difficult to apply the swoopy and flowing conceptual styling direction to production cars, specifically boxier shapes like that of the Mazda5.

We tend to agree with Mazda that the Nagare look is awesome on concepts but tough to translate to production. So, what's next? Apparently, Mazda will attempt to turn itself into a "Japanese Alfa Romeo," with an initial concept based on its new "Thrusting Motion" styling direction. We should see the fruits of this early effort at the upcoming Paris Motor Show.


Related GalleryMazda Furai Concept

[Source: Auto Express]