A hit at the this month's Geneva Show was the MX-Flexa concept by Mazda. In a slightly different guise, it could soon make its appearance as the final number in the new range - the Mazda 4.

A hit at the this month's Geneva Show was the MX-Flexa concept by Mazda. In a slightly different guise, it could soon make its appearance as the final number in the new range - the Mazda 4.

Described as "an incredibly important concept" by Mazda's marketing chief, Stephen Odell, it has been designed to set out what Mazda considers the key elements in the MPV segment.

Unlike many show cars, the MX-Flexa was fully operational, with power provided by the 2,3-litre four-cylinder engine used in the Mazda 6. This 122kW engine will feature in the top-of-the-range version of the production model, alongside 1,8-litre petrol and two-litre petrol and diesel units.

Longer and wider than the Mazda 3, Mazda believes the 4 will be one of the better handling MPVs on the market, with agile steering and a competent suspension set-up.

The interior is a combination of white, blue and silver surfaces and the gearshift is mounted on the dash. The Flexa is versatile with six seats in total, with individual captain's-style seats for all occupants. Rear passengers gain access through sliding doors.

The seats can be folded flat using the one-touch "Karakuri" function first displayed on the Mazda 6, revealing an expansive load area. The concept also features a sliding stand in the boot to store a bicycle upright. This option is likely to be perpetuated when the production version of the Mazda 4 is débuted, probably at the Paris Motor Show in September.

Original article from Car