Mazda EV Breaks Cover
Mazda Motor Corp. took the wraps off its first electric vehicle, the MX-30 compact crossover, this week at the Tokyo auto show.
The all-new model will be introduced in Europe, China and Japan next year. Sales in the U.S.—likely of a variant that uses a small rotary engine as a range extender—may be added in 2021, according to media reports.
The MX-30 is built on a modified version of the platform that carries the similarly sized piston-powered CX-30 crossover and Mazda3 small car. Exterior styling borrows cues from the CX-30, but the EV gets a more sloping roofline, tapered rear and thinner grille.
The MX-30 also features small rear-hinged rear doors—similar to the setup used on the discontinued RX-8 sports car—that Mazda calls “freestyle” doors. The handles for the rear doors aren’t accessible until the front doors are opened. Specially designed hinges allow the front doors to open 82° and the rear ones to open 80° to improve ingress/egress.
Dubbed e-Skyactiv, the powertrain features an electric motor that generates 142 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque. The car’s 35.5-kWh lithium ion battery provides a 130-mile range on the European driving cycle.
The passenger cabin has an open layout, highlighted by a floating center console. In addition to a digital instrument cluster and infotainment unit, there’s a separate touch pad to control HVAC functions and the heated seats.
A variety of environmentally friendly materials are used throughout the interior, including fabrics from recycled ingredients and door trim molded from recycled plastic bottles. Reflecting Mazda’s origins as Toyo Cork Kogyo, recycled wine bottle corks are used for door grips and other trim components.
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