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Amidst a wave of reshuffles at several automakers' design departments recently (including Hyundai, Volvo, Ford and BMW), Laurens van den Acker's departure from Mazda earlier this month caught people by surprise. The talented Dutch designer, only 43, had steered Mazda's distinctive styling language for the past several years, after having designed for Ford in Dearborn, as well as Audi and a handful of independent design houses before that. The picture, so to speak, appears to be coming into focus

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Click the image above for more high-res shots of the Ryuga concept.

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Mazda has a new styling chief. Dutchman Laurens Van den Acker will be putting the rather cumbersome appliqué "General Manager of the Design Division of Mazda Motor Corporation" on his office door, replacing Moray Callum (design head since 2001) who has been appointed to Ford's automotive design director post.

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