By Steve & Tamami Laser
We often see pre-production, or prototype, vehicles being tested on the streets. And it’s very difficult to take a decent photo, or make a video. Yet we recently encountered a Rivian R1S prototype EV parked on a local street. And now, we’ve spotted a pre-production, 2022 Mazda MX-30 EV in our neck of the woods.
We were visiting a resort hotel in Rancho Palos Verdes, when we walked by the public ChargePoint station, and came face-to-face with an MX-30. Our editor knew immediately what it was, and he started making photos and video clips.
“I can’t believe this is just parked here with nobody around,” he said to our managing editor.
“Why, what’s the big deal? Isn’t that already on sale?” she asked.
“Yes, the MX-30 is on sale in Japan and Europe, but not here, at least not yet,” he said.
Watch our quick walkaround video of the Mazda MX-30 EV that we spotted at the Terranea Resort’s public ChargePoint station. (video: CarNichiWa.com)
“Okay, so tell me more about it. It’s a plug-in hybrid, right?” she asked.
“Well, no, it’s a pure Battery Electric Vehicle, or BEV,” he said. “I’ve heard another version is in the works, with a ‘range-extender,’ small ‘rotary’ gas engine generator.”
What Is the Mazda MX-30 EV?
The MX-30, revealed at the Tokyo Motor Show two years ago, debuts Mazda’s e-Skyactive electric drive technology. With an AC synchronous electric motor, and a lithium-ion battery pack, it will still go Zoom-Zoom, albeit quietly.
It rides on Mazda’s Skyactive Vehicle Architecture, with the battery fully integrated within the body structure. And, in our editor’s humble opinion, it’s one of the best-looking Mazda crossovers.
According to Mazda, the MX-30’s styling is based on a “Human Modern” theme, that expands Mazda’s Kodo Soul of Motion design. The front styling is clean and simple, without the need for a traditional radiator grille.
Our editor captured photos of the interior through the side glass. The dash has a horizontally symmetrical layout, like other Mazda models, plus it features a floating center console and electric gearshift.
While the rear seat area looks a little snug, we couldn’t show the “Freestyle” side doors in action. The clamshell-type door design reminds us of the departed Honda Element, or perhaps a heritage-inspired Mazda RX-8.
According to a news release from Mazda, the MX-30 for the U.S. is expected to feature a 35.5 kWh lithium-ion battery, with a front-wheel-drive electric motor delivering 107 kW (144 hp), and 271 Nm (200 lbs.-ft.) torque. The battery can be charged “to 80% within approximately 36 minutes using DC fast charging,” says the release.
More details, including MSRP, and estimated driving range, are expected to be revealed by Mazda closer to the on-sale date.
According to Mazda’s consumer website, the U.S. market MX-30 EV is coming in Fall 2021, initially for California. While a “Plug-in Hybrid EV” is expected in 2022.
Note: The pre-production vehicle shown in this story and video was spotted during a chance encounter at a public charging station.
Story, photos and video © 2021 CarNichiWa.com