Mazda has developed Rhodium White
Mazda has developed a new body colour called Rhodium White, as a third ‘signature body colour’ alongside the existing colours of Soul Red Crystal and Machine Grey, and will debut on the all-new Mazda CX-60 in Autumn 2022.
Mazda’s approach uses advanced paint technology to create colours with rich depth and radiance, while also reducing the environmental impact of the painting process in keeping with the brand’s long-term Sustainable Zoom-Zoom 2030 vision. In a process called, Takuminuri (Takumi: master craftsman, Nuri: painting), painting robots use data obtained through simulation painting with Mazda’s best craftsmen to replicate traditional techniques on mass-production vehicles.
Three layers with thinner clear coat
The finish uses three layers: a clear layer, a reflective layer and the coloured layer. The coloured layer provides a newly developed white pigment that delivers a silky smooth, fine-grain white.
As standard practice with white paints, the undercoat tends to show through, and the clear coat is generally thicker than for other tonalities. Rhodium White however, uses a newly developed pigment which meant Mazda was able to reduce the thickness of the clear coat by up to 30 per cent compared to Snowflake White Pearl. This contributes to a more efficient use of resources and a reduction of CO2 emissions during the production process.
For the reflective layer, the company uses a method in which paint containing ultra-thin, high luminance aluminium flakes are applied meticulously to achieve a uniform thickness and which then dramatically shrink in volume during the drying process. The result is an extremely thin reflective layer of approximately 0.5 microns or about 7 per cent of the thickness of a typical reflective layer.
In my experience, the brand’s continued use of thin layers in its painting process does make for a very fragile finish. Perhaps the white colour will not show the inevitable stone chips and clear coat scratches as much as some of their other colours.
The first opportunity to see Mazda’s newly developed Rhodium White will be on the CX-60 from this Autumn and then the colour will be rolled-out across upcoming models in Mazda’s Large Product group (CX-70, CX-80 and CX-90).