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