SYDNEY – When Mazda Motor Corp. announced on May 2 design boss Laurens van den Acker was leaving to “pursue other interests,” gossip among the global network of car designers hit the redline. In his three years at Mazda, the Dutch designer oversaw the creation of a series of brilliant, breakthrough concept cars that transformed Mazda into the hottest design-led automotive brand on the planet. Ironically, the first van den Acker-inspired production car, the ’10 Premacy5, a compact ...

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