Mazda Shinshi Is a Concept Inspired by the Manta Ray and Japanese Culture

I want you to imagine for a moment what a Mazda looks like. Now, in classic Japanese style, imagine that car is made to look like a manta ray. You probably ended up imagining something like this render, minus the huge tail.
Shinshi Concept 11 photos
Photo: Miguel Angel Bahri
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This concept is a ride straight from the mind of Miguel Angel Bahri, a product and transportation designer out of Barcelona Spain. The idea? To bring a racing supercar to the Mazda family. I think he did just fine with this Shinshi concept. Personally, I can see this sort of design exactly as it is, a concept, and one even worthy of actually being featured in at least a video game or two.

Where do we even start with this thing? Well, we’ve mentioned that the overall design is made to incorporate lines and shapes naturally found in the manta ray. And just like the ray, this concept’s body has a flat and wide snout or hood and a narrow and sleek rear.

The hood starts off low to the ground and then sharply lifts over the front tires. From there, the lines continue unobscured along the sides and to the rear. But, right in front of the rear tires, the geometry splits. One set of lines give us the pinched rear body we mentioned, while another set of lines raises over the wheels to form a sort of fin look.

Shinshi Concept
Photo: Miguel Angel Bahri
Even the exhaust has been shaped to appear as if it is a tail, although cut off, similar to the Jaguar Consul. However, if we look at this car from the front long enough, you’ll probably notice striking resemblance to an already existing Mazda concept, the Shinari.

What differs is the exposed rear axle. Because of the pinched body, that even looks fast while standing still, we can see exposed carbon fiber steering struts. Unlike most other concepts that include carbon fiber, this one uses it in a very tasteful way. There’s not too much and not too little.

Now, don’t go thinking you’re going to be picking up anyone in it as it is a one-person vehicle. The driver sits mid center and modular steering wheel is lent for control. The reason I say lent is because underneath all that shine and carbon fiber, the car is able to function autonomously. Through the use of several sensors and radar, this vehicle is able to take you wherever you need to go, whether you’re passed out from the party, or just enjoying the speed on a circuit.

Shinshi Concept
Photo: Miguel Angel Bahri
As for the interior, all that we are shown is the modular steering wheel. Why modular? Well, if you are the one that will be driving, the steering wheel is pushed out of the dashboard for you to control. Aside from allowing you control over steering, several programable buttons are all at your fingertips.

If the AI is driving, then the steering wheel is folded and retracted into the dash. After all there is no need for your control. To let you know the state of the ride, all details are shown on a digital instrument panel right above the steering wheel. But don’t miss it as it is quite small to allow as much visibility as possible.

What I can’t seem to make out is how exactly do we get on board. Who knows, maybe being a concept there’s no need for doors. But that doesn’t keep me from imagining myself in this car. Even if only in my dreams at night.
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About the author: Cristian Curmei
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A bit of a nomad at heart (being born in Europe and raised in several places in the USA), Cristian is enamored with travel trailers, campers and bikes. He also tests and writes about urban means of transportation like scooters, mopeds and e-bikes (when he's not busy hosting our video stories and guides).
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