Though on display in various concepts for a couple years now, the flowing lines of Mazda's Nagare design philosophy continue to look fresh and exotic. And having recently unveiled a new global brand identity, the automaker promised big things for this year's Moscow International Automobile Salon with earlier sketches of a sporty new crossover designed for younger, style-conscious buyers. Now the Zoom-Zoom company is dropping its first official images of the concept CUV, and if you liked Mazda's previous Furai and Taiki designs, this latest example won't disappoint.

Called Kazamai, which means "swirling crosswinds" in Japanese, the concept sports an aggressive, forward-leaning stance, with compact proportions and a low roofline set against massive 22-inch polished wheels. Accentuating this look are the five-point grille and narrow headlights, which bear a passing resemblance to the 2009 Mazda6 but jut forcefully out from the front of the vehicle. With surface detailing inspired by crosswinds in nature (thus the name) and meant to evoke visual lightness, Mazda is touting the Kazamai's green credentials as well, claiming the design is part of a new "sustainable Zoom-Zoom" vision.

So what exactly does that mean? The automaker wants to mix its signature fun-to-drive factor with greater environmental responsibility, and says the CUV's four-wheel drive powertrain uses a next-generation direct-injection engine and newly-developed transmission, while placing a strong emphasis on aerodynamics and weight reduction to improve performance and fuel-consumption at the same time. If it were built, Mazda claims the CUV would sip gas and boast low CO2 emissions, yet still be fun to drive. And though its chances of reaching showrooms are slim, the automaker does say the Kazamai is "a good indication" of what future Mazda compact crossovers will look like.

Penned by Mazda Design (winner of this year's Grand Prix du Design in Paris), the Kazamai has been created specifically for the Moscow Auto Show, which isn't surprising given that Russia is now Europe's largest car market. Compact SUVs are also the country's second most popular type of vehicle, so Mazda is also using Moscow to introduce its well-regarded, seven-passenger CX-9 SUV. More info on the automaker's new swirling crosswinds crossover will be available when it appears in person on August 26, and be sure to check back with Motor Trend for complete coverage of the Moscow International Automobile Salon this summer.

Source: Mazda