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A Long Forgotten Secret: The Mazda Secret Hideout

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Psst! Have you heard Mazda’s biggest secret? It’s called the Mazda Secret Hideout! No, it’s not an underground base beneath the Mazda headquarters with ball pits and a steak buffet for employees. That would be awesome.

Instead, the Secret Hideout is a Mazda concept vehicle that was introduced back in 2001, before the compact boxy-car phase of the mid 2000s hit.

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The Secret Hideout sports that smooth box design that almost reminds us of the ladybug-like qualities of an old VW Bug. The bright yellow paint and spherical red lights only contribute to that image, but it’s not an unpleasant one.

The simplicity of the Secret Hideout is charming and acts as an antithesis to the cars produced today. Where car manufacturers place all the emphasis of new or concept cars on the bells and whistles, the touch screens and infotainment, the Secret Hideout has none of those. In fact, the inside can only be described as minimalist. An uncluttered speed and gas gauge sits behind the steering, but little else. The center console is almost reminiscent of a vintage candy vending machine with four unlabeled buttons lining the driver’s side and a modest round display that shows basic information like the radio station.

It looks pretty roomy on the inside, as a rear suicide door on the passenger’s side can open and give ample access to the cabin like a second trunk door. The oddest interior feature has to be the foamy bench seats, which can fold down completely and create a flat mattress that covers the entire cabin.

We see why it was called the Secret Hideout. You could easily lay in there with friends and gossip or go camping without a tent. The three little peep-holes near the back lets you look outside without being obvious, which only adds to the comfortable, secret space feeling.

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Personally, we love it. It’d be so nice to see a car that is simple with the aesthetic charm of the mid 1900s and without all of the tech-heavy features that don’t hold some buyers’ interests. It’d be a breath of fresh air in the current market, but this forgotten concept probably won’t see the light of day again.

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