Automotive

Mazda debuts all-electric MX-30 compact SUV, and rotary plug-in hybrid

Mazda debuts all-electric MX-3...
The MX-30 is a compact two-and-a-half-door crossover-styled vehicle aimed for the California market
The MX-30 is a compact two-and-a-half-door crossover-styled vehicle aimed for the California market
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The MX-30 will be sold in California only, at least for now, but a plug-in hybrid model will be coming soon and may see wider distribution
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The MX-30 will be sold in California only, at least for now, but a plug-in hybrid model will be coming soon and may see wider distribution
Mazda did not give range estimates for the MX-30, listing only the battery's capacity at 35.5 kWh
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Mazda did not give range estimates for the MX-30, listing only the battery's capacity at 35.5 kWh
The MX-30 will use most publicly available charging options in the US, and Mazda has partnered with ChargePoint as an "insider" network
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The MX-30 will use most publicly available charging options in the US, and Mazda has partnered with ChargePoint as an "insider" network
The rear "suicide" doors open away from the front door ahead, giving easy access to the rear seating without a pillar to block the way
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The rear "suicide" doors open away from the front door ahead, giving easy access to the rear seating without a pillar to block the way
The battery electric Mazda MX-30 will soon be followed by a plug-in hybrid model utilizing Mazda's legendary rotary engine as a generator
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The battery electric Mazda MX-30 will soon be followed by a plug-in hybrid model utilizing Mazda's legendary rotary engine as a generator
"The rotary generator will mark the return of our unique rotary powertrain," said Jeff Guyton, President of Mazda North American Operations
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"The rotary generator will mark the return of our unique rotary powertrain," said Jeff Guyton, President of Mazda North American Operations
The MX-30 has 144 horsepower and 200 pound-feet of torque and a front-wheel-drive configuration
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The MX-30 has 144 horsepower and 200 pound-feet of torque and a front-wheel-drive configuration
The interior of the Mazda MX-30 is sleek and flowing, much like most Mazda crossovers
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The interior of the Mazda MX-30 is sleek and flowing, much like most Mazda crossovers
Charging for the MX-30 includes plugs up to Level 2 plus DC fast charging under the SAE protocols
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Charging for the MX-30 includes plugs up to Level 2 plus DC fast charging under the SAE protocols
Cargo space in the MX-30 is commensurate with a compact vehicle of this type and is not impeded by the powertrain or batteries
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Cargo space in the MX-30 is commensurate with a compact vehicle of this type and is not impeded by the powertrain or batteries
The MX-30 is a compact two-and-a-half-door crossover-styled vehicle aimed for the California market
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The MX-30 is a compact two-and-a-half-door crossover-styled vehicle aimed for the California market
View gallery - 11 images

Mazda has announced the all-new MX-30, the automaker's first battery electric vehicle (BEV) to the US market. Aimed at the California market, the MX-30 is a compact SUV-styled car that will also herald the return of the Mazda rotary engine for a plug-in hybrid version.

"Mazda is preparing for the fast-changing US market demands by taking a multi-solution approach to electrification," says Jeff Guyton, President of Mazda North American Operations. The MX-30 will enter the market as an electric vehicle (EV) using 35.5 kWh of lithium-ion battery storage for energy.

It will feature a front-wheel drive platform with 144 hp (107 kW) of output and 200 lb-ft (271 Nm) of torque. The MX-30 will be capable of utilizing Level 2 and DC fast-charging stations and Mazda has partnered with ChargePoint, one of the largest plug-in providers in California, for accessible charging options.

The vehicle can have its 35.5-kWh battery charged from zero to 80 percent in about 36 minutes on a DC fast charger. There are no range estimates for the MX-30 from Mazda, but the battery's size should be good for over 100 miles (160 km) of range.

The rear "suicide" doors open away from the front door ahead, giving easy access to the rear seating without a pillar to block the way
The rear "suicide" doors open away from the front door ahead, giving easy access to the rear seating without a pillar to block the way

Another model MX-30 will come to market later with a plug-in hybrid powertrain utilizing the Wankel-based rotary engine Mazda has famously used in vehicles like the RX-7 sports car. The engine in this case will act as a generator for the hybrid MX-30.

Rotary engines are quiet, versatile, and less picky about fuel when compared to piston engines. They also suffer from efficiency losses when RPM rates are variable and heat dissipation is not ideal. As a propulsion engine, these downsides were at the fore. As a generator, however, they are mitigated and allow for a quiet, non-jarring production of energy from readily available fuels.

From the outside, the new MX-30 looks like most of Mazda's crossover lineup, fitting in nicely with the design motifs of the CX-30, CX-5, and so forth. One exception is the doors, which are a "two-and-a-half" configuration. The front doors open and allow the rear doors to open "suicide-style" (opposing), leaving no center pillar and granting easier access to the rear seats. The interior is also very much like Mazda's other crossovers, too.

Mazda says that the new MX-30 marks the beginning of electrification efforts throughout the Mazda lineup. Other vehicles on other platforms will be forthcoming soon as battery and plug-in options. More details for the MX-30 will come closer to its expected launch in California later in 2021.

Source: Mazda

View gallery - 11 images
4 comments
4 comments
DavidB
I really like Mazda’s design vocabulary, and this could be a great vehicle, but the range on that BEV version! 100 miles? The tiny Fiat 500e managed nearly that; it also weighed much less, making it a zippy little critter for a reasonable price.

The Kona EV, the Kia Niro EV, and of course the Chevy Bolt are all similar to this Mazda in size, yet all get over 250 miles to a charge and offer more than 200 horsepower.

The VW e-Golf and MINI Cooper EV are much smaller than this Mazda, but both manage around 150 miles per charge.

Throw in the idea that the Mazda is aimed at California, and it’s clear what Mazda’s level of commitment to electrification really is: zero.

This vehicle will be poorly supported and eventually discontinued, just as Fiat did with the 500e.

That’s a shame, and shame on Mazda for their cynicism.
Spud Murphy
Agree with DavidB, there's no excuse for such a short range EV nowadays, given the competition. Add to that the low motor power and those silly doors where you can only open a rear door when a front door is opened, and this will not sell well.
WB
With all the Teslas here in California, this thing is dead on arrival.
riczero-b
The rotary / generator combo sounds ideal for aero use, light and compact : cooling problems would also likely disappear in this setting.