Mazda’s first EV: the MX-30

Mazda has unveiled its first mass-production electric vehicle, the MX-30, and despite its rather conventional crossover body, it does have a few design and engineering tricks up its sleeve that set it apart from the growing sea of EVs.

A new addition to Mazda’s car lineup, the MX-30 is the automaker’s third new-generation model after the Mazda3 and CX-30. Aiming to offer an experience that lets customers relax and be themselves and deepens the bond between car and owner, the model offers a creative time and space that invites new ways of using a vehicle.

Under the Car-as-Art ethos, the styling of MX-30 aims to raise its artistic value and expand the expressive range of Mazda’s Kodo — Soul of Motion design language. Based on a concept of “Human Modern,” the design stays grounded in the beautifully honed, handcrafted forms of Kodo, yet aligns itself with changing values and new lifestyles.

Spaces in and around the center console give the cabin an open feel, and environmentally conscious materials such as cork and fabrics made from recycled materials are used in ways that bring out their natural appeal, creating a comfortable interior space. In addition, the MX-30 adopts freestyle doors (ala RX-8) so customers can invent new and creative ways of using the car.

In line with the human-centric philosophy, Mazda engineers were determined to deliver the same Jinba-ittai driving joy that every Mazda offers in the EV as well. The model adopts Mazda’s new, fully in-house developed electric-drive technology, e–Skyactiv.

Taking Mazda’s Well-to-Wheel which takes into account not just what energy source is used but how it’s generated to heart, they sought for a more balanced approach instead of seeking record-braking range or performance. The battery size was chosen to minimize carbon dioxide emissions throughout its life cycle from resource extraction to battery disposal. Still, the MX-30 has a commendable 209-kilometer range. Moreover, they’re also developing an extended-range EV, too, powered by a small rotary engine.

Furthermore, it’s underpinned by the Skyactiv-Vehicle Architecture that underpins the all-new Mazda3, but enhanced for EV performance through multi-directional ring structures and a tweaked G-Vectoring Control (GVC) system.

Mazda says this helps it realize seamless vehicle motion in all directions, offers a composed ride quality coming from a feeling that the vehicle constantly gravitates toward the road surface, and an intuitive feeling of total control over all operations, including driving, turning, and stopping. Mazda even developed its own unique motor pedal for the MX-30 for seamless performance while offering energy regeneration without waste.

The MX-30 is so named because it belongs to the “Motoring Experiment” or MX family, which signifies rather unconventional cars in Mazda’s stable. While the most famous one is the MX-5 (Motoring Experiment Project 5) a.k.a. the Miata, there have been other MX models too such as the MX-3 and MX-6. It also helps that these MX cars have either/or coupe or roadster body styles — something the MX-30 also has.

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