Off-road sports cars are a thing. Porsche has the 911 Dakar, Lamborghini has the Huracán Sterrato, and now Mazda has the DX-Vision. Now before you grab your kodo design pitchforks, this is not a production car. It sprang from the imagination of a design intern at Mazda North America and exists only in pixel form.
The DX-Vision is a high-riding sports coupe with three seats in a 1+2 seating position. The driver sits at the center like in a McLaren F1, and two passengers can sit side by side behind. The car features a lot of Mazda design language, including headlights that flow into a trademark five-sided grille and lots of complex compound curve surfacing.
The Mazda DX-Vision was created by Tiffany Yang, a transportation design student who is working on an MFA at the College for Creative Studies, one of the top industrial design schools in the country and a direct path to creating the sheetmetal we see on the streets. Yang has previously interned at Koenigsegg and Honda. At Mazda, she worked with actual designers at the company to develop the DX-Vision as her thesis project.
“Mazda is super well known for Kodo design,” Yang wrote about the company Japanese theme that translates to “soul of motion” in English. “Instead of having the motion on the side surface, I wanted to have the flow begin from the front going through the vehicle then connecting to the side surface. Expanding the Mazdaness completely throughout the vehicle. As if the entire car is a piece of sculpture, connecting from the front to the rear.”
Mazda is better known for road racing and winning races like the 24 Hours of Le Mans with its rotary powered sports cars, but it has explored rally racing in its distant past. In the 1980s it developed a Group B RX-7 before the class was outlawed, and it also homologated the 323 GTX.
There are no plans to develop the DX-Vision for production. However, with Mazda going all-in on SUVs, even shelving plans for a RWD straight-six sedan to prioritize big luxury crossovers, anything is possible. Production sedans like the Toyota Crown and sports cars like the Porsche 911 Dakar and Lamborghini Huracán Sterrato might be commonplace in the future, and the current crop of design students will help make them look good.