Made a whistle-stop trip to a snowy Frankfurt today for a close-up look at the Mazda Takeri concept. The Takeri, which was unveiled at the Tokyo motor show late last year and will be shown to the European audience at Geneva next month, is a midsize saloon concept that precedes the next Mazda 6.

I appreciate that this is one of those irritating 'you had to be there' moments, but the Takeri looks more stunning in the metal than it does in photographs. If you're plotting a trip to the Geneva motor show, it's worth seeking out this saloon and poking around it. To me it looks solid, fairly sporty and well-proportioned. What's that old saying about if it looks right, it'll go right?

Taking its cues from Mazda's latest Kodo - Soul of Motion design language, the Takeri isn't far removed from the production 6 in terms of external styling. According to Mazda Europe's chief of design, Peter Birtwhistle, about 80 per cent of the Takeri will be carried over onto the next 6, which is expected in 2013.

In fact, when a pre-production 6 was recently wheeled into Mazda's European design studio at Oberursel, near Frankfurt, Birtwhistle admits he thought it was the Takeri at first glance!

Some elements of the Takeri's shape are influenced by Mazda's efficient SkyActiv technology, the umbrella term that covers modular platforms, efficient transmissions and engines, lightweight bodies and chassis.