Mazda’s evocative Soul Red Crystal - what’s in the price premium?

Sanjay · Jul 15, 2020 01:00 PM

Contrary to popular belief, red comes in different shades. I’m sure you’ve heard of colours like Porsche’s Guard’s Red and Ferrari’s Rosso Scuderia, but you may have more commonly seen Mazda’s Soul Red Crystal instead. 

What makes it so evocative and a head turner everytime we spot one? Read on.

In recent times, Mazda is known for their KODO design philosophy - a philosophy that gave rise to the 2020 Mazda 3, also known as the world’s most beautiful car.

With KODO traditionally meaning ‘heartbeat’, this design philosophy embodies the accompanying slogan ‘Soul of Motion’, which essentially means giving a personality to the car.

With a keen eye on red’s roots in Japanese culture and their philosophy of believing colour as a vital part to the car’s overall form, Mazda developed Soul Red Crystal - an option that commands a price premium.

Three layers make up the colour: clear, translucent and reflective coats. The translucent layer features highly saturated red pigments.

Enhancing the effect are high-brilliance, minute aluminium flakes in addition to light-absorbing flakes that intensify shaded areas and achieves a colour depth that previously required two layers. 

Concept examples of the colour were hand painted, but that’s going to be difficult and very expensive to pull off on production models. Mazda then developed takuminuri (artisan painting), clever robotic technology that effectively mimics the hand-painted shade through data developed by simulations. 

Further refinements are then made - the aluminium flakes were made a uniform size, the paint consistency was enhanced and shrinking the volume of paint during the drying process.

The result is an smooth coverage of the aluminium and light-absorbing flakes, lending to 20% greater colour saturation and 50% more depth than the previous Soul Red Metallic.

Personally, I think this colour does justice to Mazda’s concepts. I know it’s the colour I’d go for if I jump into Mazda 3 ownership!