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Mazda MX-30 preview

Mazda MX-30 preview

What's this?
Mazda’s first-ever fully-electric production car. It’s called the MX-30 and, as is the current fashion trend, it’s a crossover-sized vehicle, designed to sit alongside the Japanese manufacturer’s more conventional CX-30 machine. The MX-30 was first shown at the Tokyo Motor Show in 2019 and should be on sale by the latter half of 2020.

What will its rivals be?
Its direct competition will be the Hyundai Kona Electric and Kia e-Niro, but both of these vehicles use bigger battery packs to provide additional one-charge range. Mazda wants the MX-30 to be more fun to drive, so has sacrificed a larger battery pack in order to save weight. The Japanese EV will also have to see off the forthcoming Volkswagen ID crossover, based on the Crozz concept, which will likely go under ID.4 badging. The MX-30 could also conceivably have to take on BMW’s iX3, although the German car is likely to be a lot more expensive than the Mazda.

Mazda MX30 Electric

Any tech info?
Very little. Although Mazda has confirmed the battery size and range, it hasn’t confirmed outputs of the electric-drive system. However, rumours suggest the MX-30 will have around 143hp and 265Nm, which should make it decently quick if the kerb weight can be kept low. Perhaps of more note is the styling, which incorporates a number of idiosyncratic features like a contrasting roof segueing into striking C-pillars emblazoned with ‘Mazda’ script, eye-catching rear light clusters and its most obvious characteristic, a set of rear-hinged back doors that allow access to a five-seat cabin, but which also allow the MX-30 to look like a three-door coupe at first glance.

What will the range be like?
Mazda has fitted a 35.5kWh lithium-ion battery pack to the MX-30, which only permits a 200km range. This is a long way off the 64kWh unit found in both the Kona Electric and e-Niro rivals, but Mazda counters by claiming most commuters worldwide only cover 35km or so a day; meaning the MX-30 has more than enough distance to cater for its users’ needs. Mazda says this is having the ‘right-sized battery’ and it should also lead to faster charging times, as the capacity of the unit is smaller.

Expectations?
High, although not off the scale. The MX-30 is launching amid a morass of highly desirable EVs from more mainstream brands than Mazda, while its limited overall range number – despite what the company says – is sure to put one or two potential customers off. However, with its distinctive styling and the promise of keen driving dynamics, the MX-30 could become something of a cult, leftfield EV hit.

Carzone - 25-Feb-2020