Mazda’s first electric vehicle (EV) is called the MX-30, which raised quite a few eyebrows since it uses the MX nomenclature that’s also attached to the iconic Mazda MX-5 aka the Miata or Roadster in various other markets. While we all know that the MX-5 is a two-seater roadster, the MX-30 is a crossover with coupe-like styling and shares absolutely nothing with the MX-5, at least in terms of parts.
Speaking with Tomiko Takeuchi, Mazda MX-30 Program Manager, her team has decided to name their electric vehicle the MX-30 because it is a vehicle that introduces a first for the Mazda brand. MX means Mazda Experiment, and in this case, the Mazda Experiment- Project 30 is Mazda’s first EV. Similarly, when the first-generation Mazda MX-5 (codenamed NA) was introduced, its engineers and designers called their first-ever roadster the Mazda Experiment – Project 5. Do note that there are two other vehicles in the Mazda lineup that follow the same naming convention, namely the MX-3 and MX-6.
To recap, the Mazda MX-30 is an electric crossover 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 a little more than 200 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.
Though Mazda’s vehicles will all be electrified (hybrids, plug-in hybrids, EVs) as part of its Sustainable Zoom-Zoom 2030 program, 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. As such, European customers can already order the Mazda MX-30 at their nearest Mazda dealer, with European deliveries to start in 2020. Japan and the rest of the world will follow shortly thereafter.