Meet the MX-30, Mazda’s first ever fully electric vehicle recently unveiled at the ongoing Tokyo Motor Show. Can’t say we aren’t surprised despite already knowing that it would be a crossover and sport styling similar to an existing model.
Though we expected that the template would be set from the CX-30, the proto-suicide doors from the RX-8 came totally out of left field. That said, the styling does reflect the most recent aesthetic from the Hiroshima-based automaker and their Kodo design philosophy.
Its recessed headlamps and grille are new styling cues to the Mazda look book, so too is the much thinner grille design. And yet it still is somehow recognisable as a Mazda even without the helpful badges.
The MX-30 is slated to hit the market some time in latter 2020 or early 2021 and will the be the third model in their line-up to be built upon their new-generation SkyActiv architecture and tech following the all-new Mazda3 and CX-30.
An underfloor array of lithium-ion batteries supply the e-SkyActiv powertrain, which in the MX-30’s case sends drive the front wheels via a single electric motor with 105kW and 264Nm. Fully charged, those cells hold a maximum of 35.5kWh that is quoted to endow the EV with just over 200km of range, though that’s yet to be officially confirmed.
That’s rather modest, if we’re honest, but perhaps Mazda will fill the range with more variants boasting larger batteries and perhaps all-wheel drive. By comparison, its would-be main rivals such as the Hyundai Kona Electric (64kWh, 450km) and Nissan Leaf (40kWh, 270km).
In terms of positioning, Mazda is clearly gunning for the more younger and style-oriented crossover buyer with its slightly impractical rear access doors and resultant coupe-like roofline. They might also be counting on them being somewhat careless with curbs as the amount of thick dark grey cladding here is almost ridiculous for a city-dwelling EV. Then again, the same could be said about the CX-30.
Like the exterior, the MX-30’s cabin is a blend of the new and familiar. Looking rather chic overall, the gear selector (in an EV?) and MZD Connect rotary dial sit atop its own little plateau, just behind a screen that doubtless used for HVAC control. The instrument cluster is all-digital as you’d expect.
Instead of leather appointed seats and trim, Mazda has concocted a selection of materials that utilise reused or sustainable material. The upholstery, as an example, is fashioned from a biodegradable and organically sourced textile while the wood-like accents are actually made from recycled bottle stop corks.