Mazda revives an MX-81 Aria idea, the ancestor of the MX | Automobile Information
With the launch this yr of its first manufacturing EV, the MX-30, Mazda has chosen to revive the acronym, which has beforehand been used just for sports activities vehicles in its lineup (the MX-3, MX-5 and MX-6).
Initially, nevertheless, the acronym was primarily used for Mazda’s most unconventional fashions: idea vehicles that defied conference to open up new paradigms. It was to designate these “Mazda eXperimental” creations that the producer adopted the acronym MX. It first appeared in 1981 hooked up to a Chinese language-Italian mission: the MX-81 Aria.
This elegant little coupe was launched on the Tokyo Motor Present that yr. Its avant-garde design was the work of a youngish Belgian designer at Italian car-body maker Bertone, one Marc Deschamps. It wasn’t the primary joint mission by Bertone and Mazda: the previous had produced the Mazda Familia and Luce designs for the latter within the Nineteen Sixties.
Few seemingly keep in mind that after Tokyo, the MX-81 made its North American debut proper right here in Canada, on the Montreal Auto Present in January 1982. On the time, our American neighbors didn’t systematically take priority when it got here to unveiling idea automobiles on our continent…
However earlier than coming to Canada, the MX-81 was the item of a photograph shoot in Milan, within the Piazza Duomo. Within the view of Mazda, “This legendary photograph shoot completely displays the continuing dialogue between Japanese know-how and Italian fashion”.
In 2021, forty years later and the identical yr Mazda expands its use of the Mx designation with the launch of the Mx-30 EV, the automaker set about restoring the historic prototype.
Constructed on the idea of a Mazda 323 of the time, the MX-81 adopts a wedge-shaped fashion typical of Ghia’s creations of the time. This prototype is characterised by giant home windows with flush glass, retractable headlights and retractable wipers. The vertical taillights that cowl virtually the complete rear roof pillar are one other function of its streamlined physique, as evidenced by a drag coefficient of 0.29.
Nonetheless, it’s inside that we discover its most modern ingredient. For this idea automotive has no steering wheel, or not less than not a traditional one, hooked up to a steering column like all vehicles of that period. As an alternative, the driving force faces a small color tv display housed on the backside of an oblong field on which there are a dozen giant push buttons. These management the windshield wipers, flip indicators, headlights and even the horn. Then, on the perimeter of this field, a versatile plastic band manufactured from small rings linked collectively serves as a steering mechanism by sliding to the left or proper, relying on the specified path.
Entrance seats that may swivel to facilitate entry to the rear seat full this design born of a brand new paradigm.
Not like many prototypes, this one was not scrapped after its helpful life. Warehoused in Hiroshima for a few years, it sat patiently till the day its producer selected to have it restored. the restoration work started in February 2020 as a part of a joint Japanese-Italian mission.
After an entire mechanical overhaul carried out by Mazda technicians, the automotive was examined on a circuit. It was then turned over to the grasp craftsmen from the SuperStile firm in Turin for a restoration of the bodywork and the inside, clearly with the mandate of making an attempt to maintain as many unique supplies as doable. The concept was to depart among the marks of time seen.
SuperStile labored to revive the paint, physique panels, leather-based upholstery and headlight lenses to their youthful look. Lastly, to finish the circle, the MX-81 Aria was then introduced again to the Piazza Duomo for a second spherical of pictures. However this time, the primary MX had firm: the most recent MX mannequin, the MX-30, joined it for the social gathering. With its electrical powertrain, the beginner actually brings a brand new dimension to the Mx letters.
Mazda’s MX idea vehicles
MX-81 Aria, Tokyo, 1981
MX-02, Tokyo, 1983
MX-03, Tokyo, 1985
MX-04, Tokyo, 1987
MX-5 Miata hydrogen, 1993
MX-5 Miata electrical, 1994
MX-5 Miata M Coupe, New York, 1996
MX-V, Tokyo, 1997
MX-Sport Tourer, Geneva, 2001
MX-5 MPS, Frankfurt, 2001
MX-Sport Runabout, Geneva, 2002
MX-Sportif, Geneva, 2003
MX-Micro Sport, Detroit, 2004
MX-Flexa, Genève, 2004
MX-Crossport, Detroit, 2005
MX-5 Superlight, Frankfurt, 2009
MX-5 GT, Goodwood, 2012
MX-5 Super25, SEMA Present, 2012
MX-5 Speedster, SEMA Present, 2015
MX-5 Spyder, SEMA Present, 2015
MX-5 Miata RF Kuro, SEMA Present, 2016
MX-5 Speedster, SEMA Present, 2016
MX-5 Levanto by Storage Italia, 2017