Mazda's Quest for Cool

Under design director Franz von Holzhausen, Mazda has unveiled a steady stream of sexy concepts. But the effort has yet to translate into any actual products

Seven men in white lab coats are scraping the sides of a life-size car model, rapidly transforming a massive lump of clay into a sleek form with the silhouette of a sporty coupe. Thin shavings fall to the floor as the designers mold shapes to resemble those of the giant sketch of the car hanging above them on the wall. All the while, Franz von Holzhausen, Mazda's (MZDAF) tall, tow-headed director of design for North America, is watching intently.

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