In a nutshell:
- MX-30 is Mazda’s first ever all-electric car.
- Focus is on creating a driver’s ride with all the fun and connectedness of a combustion engine vehicle.
- Battery size and weight are major factors in delivering performance, agility and driver engagement.
- Japanese phrase ‘Jinba Ittai’ - meaning ‘horse and rider as one’ - is Mazda’s ethos.
Say hello to the MX-30 - Mazda’s first ever all-electric vehicle.
And the excited Japanese firm says it’s a car that not only represents the firm’s entire ethos right now, but it’s also one where the connection between driver and car is key.
Now the MX-30, arriving in the UK early in 2021, is offering something different entirely - a fully-electric crossover.
A 35.5kWh lithium-ion battery gives the MX-30 a range of around 124miles between charges, which is close in comparison to the Honda e, but falls some distance short of the Hyundai Kona Electric, which has a range of approximately 278 miles.
It comes with AC charging up to 6.6Kw and DC rapid charging designed to meet 125A Combo Charging standards.
And Mazda says it’s lighter than many EVs, making it much more agile.
The firm reveals: “Incorporating the battery pack as a part of the bodyshell’s ring structure greatly increases diagonal rigidity. Specifically, the frame that surrounds the battery pack is connected to the body in 20 locations. Straight cross members sandwiching the battery pack from above and below combine with a reinforced ring structure for the rear axle mounts to significantly reduce the delay in the transmission of inputs.”
There’s also some clever G-vectoring control (GVC) tech at play here, too, designed to make the MX-30 a real driver’s car.
The ‘e-GVC Plus’ system essentially tweaks the torque generated by the electric motor depending on what you’re doing behind the wheel - reducing it, for example, if you’re going round a corner so that the load is transferred to the front of the car, or increasing it when you’re exiting a bend to give you maximum grip and control.
Mazda says it’s also reinvented the ‘traditional accelerator pedal’ as well.
What they mean by that is that if you’re enthusiastic with your input - putting your foot down hard or jumping off it too quickly - the system will make efforts to keep everything nice and smooth ‘without uncomfortable G-force or yaw’.
Even better, to offer more driver engagement and control, the MX-30’s steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters allow you to adjust the powertrain's torque characteristics and the level of energy regeneration when coasting or under braking.
These characteristics can be adjusted through five selectable settings with the paddle shifters -two levels up and two down from the default 'D' setting.
A Mazda spokesperson explains: “As an example, when driving downhill, using the left paddle will result in an increase in vehicle running resistance and more energy recuperation, enabling the driver to control the vehicle with added confidence and recoup energy. Alternatively, using the right paddle when driving up steep inclines will give the feeling of a decrease in running resistance, making it easier for the driver to maintain speed when lifting from the accelerator on an incline.”
All of this, Mazda says, translates to ‘composed ride quality, seamless handling and an intuitive feeling of total control over the car via communicative controls, as if the car is an extension of the driver's body.
And the key phrase Mazda uses is the Japanese term ‘Jinba Ittai’ - meaning ‘horse and rider as one’ - and which pretty much encapsulates what they’re striving for with the MX-30.
In short, it’s all the fun of a combustion engine without the associated emissions.
Full UK pricing is due to be announced later this year.