The Mazda MX-30: Suicide Doors, Cork and, Oh, It’s an EV
Mazda introduced a new vehicle at the Tokyo Motor Show. An important vehicle. A technologically advanced vehicle. But it really thinks its doors are key.
(Mazda MX-30 images: Mazda)
In the press release announcing the MX-30, there is a 673-word introduction from program manager Tomiko Takeuchi, which opens, “For those who desire a life with things that soothe and please the spirit; for those who want to live positively, actively choosing possessions and experiences that, by their own standards, are a match for their lifestyle; for those with the wisdom and inventiveness to tackle problems facing people, society and the earth in their own style, without overextending themselves; and for those who wish to create good times together with the people around them and with people all over the world. For those customers, the Mazda MX-30 offers a creative time and space that will allow them to live true to themselves.”
Which is, arguably, both soothing and enthusiastic.
Yes, but what are you getting at?
There are some 500 words in the news release more before one gets to the sentence: “Now, with the MX-30, the company introduces a new electric drive technology called e–Skyactiv.”
This is Mazda’s first battery electric vehicle.
First. Battery Electric Vehicle.
You might argue that this is a case of burying the lede.
Although Mazda is repositioning itself in the market as a purveyor of more premium models, presumably a development as big as this one would be heralded in a big way.
No trees were harmed
But Mazda points out things like the “Freestyle doors,” which are sometimes referred to as “suicide doors.” In this application, the front doors swing open 82 degrees and the rear 80 degrees, which not only makes ingress and egress easier, but provides improved cargo loading.
And then there is the use of heritage cork for lining the tray in the center console: “The MX-30 uses cork left over from the production of cork bottle stoppers.”
What do we know about the propulsion system?
There is a lithium-ion battery pack that is designed such that it has a limited height so as not to take up too much interior space. This is achieved by the use of high-density modules and thin busbar wiring. The battery is cooled by a series of tubes that are attached to the bottom plane of the battery module through which coolant flows as the battery pack temp rises.
In order to assure battery pack protection, the battery case is attached to the body to protect it in case of an accident.
The e-Skyactiv system can be charged with AC (up to 6.6 kW) or DC, via CHAdeMO or COMBO connectors.
Whether it is coming to the U.S. Ever. That might have a lot to do with what happens vis-à-vis CAFE.
But it is an odds-on favorite to show up in Europe. Why? Because the pictures that you can see here are labeled as the “European Specification Model.”
A final thought
“Through MX-30, we want to join you as you journey through life, always living true to yourself. I hope that this car will help customers all over the world take on challenges and come out with satisfied smiles on their faces.”—Tomiko Takeuchi
Dan Nicholson is vice president of General Motors Global Propulsion Systems, the organization that had been “GM Powertrain” for 24 years.
Sandy Munro and his team of engineers and costing analysts at Munro & Associates were contacted by UBS Research—an arm of the giant banking and investment firm—and asked whether it was possible to do a teardown and cost assessment of the Chevrolet Bolt EV.
While you are probably familiar with origami, the classic art of paper folding that results in things like birds that flap their wings when you pull the tail, or plot devices in one of the Blade Runner films.