By Steve & Tamami Laser
When we think of Mazda, images of cool sports cars, like the MX-5 Roadster (Miata), and the RX-7 coupe with its rotary engine pop into our heads. Yet the all-new MX-30, coming to Japan and Europe later this year, is the automaker’s first all-electric production vehicle. While it captures the playful spirit of Mazda’s “X” models, it goes Zoom-Zoom quietly, powered by electrons.
Revealed at the Tokyo Motor Show last fall, MX-30’s styling is based on a “Human Modern” theme, expanding Mazda’s Kodo Soul of Motion design. Without the need for a traditional radiator grille, the signature Mazda wing used on other models is replaced with a simpler look.
The MX-30 rides on Mazda’s Skyactiv Vehicle Architecture with vertical, lateral and longitudinal connections of the bodyshell’s multi-directional ring structures increasing rigidity. The battery pack is fully integrated within the body shell, serving as part of the ring structure.
“Freestyle” doors with special hinges allow the front doors to open 82 degrees and the rears 80 degrees. In addition to providing easy entry and exit, Mazda says it also contributes to better access for strollers and wheelchairs.
In the above video from the Mazda Europe YouTube Channel, Christian Schultze, Director Technology Research, Mazda Research Europe, highlights the high-tech engineering in the new all-electric MX-30. (video: Mazda)
MX-30’s e-Skyactiv front-wheel-drive powertrain features an AC synchronous electric motor with a 35.5 kWh lithium-ion battery and a range of about 124 miles (200 km WLTP combined). Maximum system power is 105 kW (143 PS) and maximum torque 265 Nm.
What’s it like to drive the new MX-30? In the above video from Mazda, Frederic Hartnick, Manager Vehicle & Advanced Electronic Development at Mazda Motor Europe, offers his test drive impressions of a prototype. (video: Mazda)
MX-30 comes with AC charging up to 6.6 Kw and DC rapid charging designed to meet 125A Combo Charging standards. DC rapid charging up to 50 Kw is said to offer a charging time of 30 to 40 minutes for up to 80 percent battery charge. The crossover is equipped with a Type 2 mode 2-charge cable for 3-pin plug charging, and a Type 2 mode 3-charge cable for AC charging via home or public charge points.
Mazda says MX-30 is designed to deliver the intuitive response, natural feedback and involving handling expected in its regular lineup. Electric G-Vectoring Control Plus (e-GVC Plus) enhances chassis performance using motor torque to optimize the front-rear load shift for improved stability.
The new MX-30 has a beautifully designed interior. In this video, Jo Stenuit, Design Director, Mazda Motor Europe, talks about the attention to detail throughout the cabin and highlights some of its unique features. (video: Mazda)
The cabin shares the same basic cockpit design found on other Mazdas with a horizontally symmetrical layout. Yet it’s fitted with interesting touches including a floating center console and electronic gearshift.
The floating center console with electronic gearshift lever is independent of the dash and provides storage space, while a lower section incorporates a 7-inch touchscreen air conditioning control panel. Heritage cork lining the center console trays and inner side of the door handles is harvested from the bark of trees (without felling). Door trim material incorporates fibers from recycled plastic bottles.
An MX-30 First Edition model, limited to 500 units, has gone on sale in the UK, with deliveries expected to start early next year. Among the color choices, three-tone Soul Red Crystal Metallic, with a black roof and metallic gray upper side panels, is our favorite. The interior (above) is dressed with light grey cloth and stone leatherette combined with orange seat stitching.
Standard First Edition features include a heads-up display, 8-way power driver’s seat with memory, color 7-inch TFT meter display, leather-wrapped steering wheel, 8.8-inch center display with Mazda Connect, Multimedia Commander, Mazda Navigation system, Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™, and Mazda Radar Cruise Control with Intelligent Speed Assist.
Also included is a 60/40 split-folding rear seat, front and rear center armrests. and tonneau cover. The roster of safety and security features includes Driver Attention Alert, Blind Spot Monitoring, Smart Brake Support with Turn-Across Traffic, Emergency Lane Keeping with Blind Spot Assist, Front Smart Brake Support with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Departure Warning and Lane Keep Assist.
“A battery electric vehicle conceived and created with Mazda’s well-renowned focus on distinctive styling, innovative technology, driver focused dynamics and class-leading interior quality, the MX-30 will be a stand out addition to the rapidly evolving EV marketplace,” said Jeremy Thomson, Managing Director, Mazda Motors UK. “Part of Mazda’s multi-solution approach to efficient vehicles, the launch of our first pure electric car is a milestone moment for the brand and a landmark moment for our dealers and customers here in the UK.”
For more information visit mazda.co.uk
Note: Features and specifications for future UK and European market models is subject to change without notice
News source, photos and videos courtesy of Mazda Motors UK Ltd, Mazda Motor Europe GmbH, and Mazda Motor Corporation
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