Last week I spent two days in Berlin with Mazda getting an intensely detailed low down on the mechanical building blocks that will underpin the vast majority of its future models. We even managed to spend two hours sampling Mazda’s new engines and transmissions on the German roads, which were bolted into an early version of Mazda’s clever new platform.

And yesterday I returned from an intense briefing on Mazda’s new design philosophy and the unveiling of the stunning Shinari concept car - which is a clear hint at the shape of the all-new, 2012, Mazda 6.

Mazda’s long relationship with Ford is being slowly unwound and the car maker’s finest minds have sat down and thought very long and very hard about how a comparatively small independent company (which makes a varied 1.2 million vehicles per year) can survive in the global market.

I’m convinced that Mazda’s design and engineering teams have cooked up a solution that’s so clever and so brilliantly engineered that the rest of the car industry will look on in admiration.