After numerous teasers released online, Mazda Motor Corporation has officially unveiled its first electric vehicle (EV), the Mazda MX-30. The Mazda MX-30 is an electric crossover positioned between the CX-3 and CX-5 in terms of size and target market, whilst carrying its own distinct sporty personality that is not found in any other electric vehicle in its class.
From the outside, Mazda’s first EV looks quite different from its latest offerings. To showcase the lack of a combustion engine up front, the MX-30 has a very slim grille, which is flanked by LED headlights with circular LED daytime running lights. The rear fascia features a dramatically sloping roofline, effectively combining various elements of a coupe into a crossover body. Whereas most of Mazda’s newest models follow a curvy and smooth body design that’s dependent on reflections through the lack of any character lines, the MX-30 has a rather angular silhouette with squared-off wheel arches. Nevertheless, it still follows many elements of the current evolution of Mazda’s minimalist Kodo design language.
For the first time since the Mazda RX-8, the MX-30 features rear-hinged “freedom doors.” The other purpose of this rear door design is to give owners more creativity on how they use their cars, such as lounging out along a gorgeous coastal scenery since there are no B-pillars, thus creating an uninterrupted view of the outside world.
Moving inside, the MX-30 features an interior design that is mainly built with eco-friendly materials such as cork, which harks back to Mazda’s history as a manufacturer of cork under the Toyo Cork Kogyo Co., Ltd. name. Mazda chose this material because of its sustainable manufacturing method wherein tree bark only used to create the interior paneling. Meanwhile, the interior fabrics are made from recycled plastic bottles. The resulting design is a sustainable evolution of Mazda’s minimalist and premium interior. Drivers are then greeted to a partly digital gauge cluster as well as a cleanly-designed “floating” center console free from clutter thanks to the use of a touch screen for the AC controls.
Under the hood of the Mazda MX-30 is an electric powertrain with a 35.5 kWh battery pack. The electric motor produces 141 hp and 264 Nm of torque. This electric powertrain lets the Mazda MX-30 have a range of up to 209 kilometers in a single charge. Despite having an electric powertrain, the Mazda MX-30 promises to still offer that iconic Jinba Ittai (horse and rider as one) principle of having car and driver as one.
Now, many of us know that Mazda has said in the past that the brand is staying committed to the internal combustion engine, thus the creation of the revolutionary Skyactiv-X SPCCI engine. Though Mazda’s vehicles will all be electrified (hybrids, plug-in hybrids, EVs) by 2030, some were surprised that the MX-30 came sooner than expected. Well, this is partly due to European Union (EU) setting a target that by 2021, with the phase-in period being in 2020, the EU fleet-wide average emission target for new cars shall be at 95 g CO2/km. This is also why deliveries of the Mazda MX-30 will first happen in Europe in 2020 with pre-orders already open. Japan and the rest of the world will follow shortly thereafter.