Shown at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show and manufactured since May 2020, the MX-30 still hasn’t arrived stateside. The compact crossover with rear-hinged rear doors will set foot in the United States this fall, but as fate would have it, the first units are reserved for Californian customers.
"Mazda is preparing for the fast-changing demands in the U.S. by taking a multi-solution approach to electrification," said Jeff Guyton, the automaker’s president in North America. "The battery-powered MX-30 will begin the introduction of additional electrified models, including a series plug-in hybrid with a rotary generator for MX-30, a PHEV for our new large platform, and a traditional hybrid for our new American-made crossover.”
The all-electric version takes its mojo from a 35.5-kWh battery, which is extremely small by segment standards. Adding insult to injury, Mazda hasn’t mentioned any sort of estimate for the driving range. For reference, the Chevrolet Bolt EV boasts 65 kWh and 259 miles (417 kilometers) of range.
Just like the subcompact hatchback from General Motors, the Japanese interloper is front-wheel drive. The electric motor delivers 107 kW (144 horsepower) and 271 Nm (200 pound-feet) of torque, numbers that don’t match the Bolt’s 200 horsepower and 266 pound-feet (360 Nm) of torque.
According to Mazda, charging from 20 to 80 percent using a direct-current fast charger should take 36 minutes. The automaker is partnering with ChargePoint for additional charging solutions. As expected of an eco-friendly vehicle, the MX-30 uses renewable materials in the cabin for bragging rights. The door grips and center console’s panels, for example, utilize Japanese cork.
Next year for the 2023 model year, the EV will be joined by the series plug-in hybrid MX-30 that utilizes the SkyActiv-R rotary engine as a range extender. "The generator will mark the return of our unique rotary powertrain," added Guyton. "This technology is engineered for nearly silent operation and will replenish the battery rather than drive the wheels.”