This photo certainly appears to show the Mazda MX-30 Concept, Mazda’s first dive into independent EV development, based on the company’s small-car architecture. The photo above is taken from the cover of Japan’s Web Car, and came via Carscoops.
When there’s a need to carry a sizeable amount of batteries—but not a ton of them—it makes sense that carmakers elect to jam them into a crossover body rather than a low-slung sedan. Passengers can sit higher, which means there’s more room under the cabin, and people rarely gripe about the heaviness of SUVs. (Besides, that weight is all under the car anyway, contributing to a low center of gravity.) The instantaneous nature of electric torque helps overcome that mass, too.
What we can tell from the leaked photo is that the upcoming MX-30 Concept—reportedly debuting at on October 23 at the Tokyo Motor Show—sports a nowadays-fashionable fastback roofline, with hidden rear doors reminiscent of the old RX-8. It’s almost coupé-like, if you believe in four-door coupés.
No word on rotary range-extenders or anything special like that, but Mazda’s EV concept looks very close to being production ready, and perhaps more sporty than Volvo’s recently announced XC40 Recharge, a crossover of similar proportions.
The production MX-30 is expected to be powered by a single electric motor delivering 141 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque, powered by a 35.5-kWh lithium-ion battery. If that sounds tiny, note that this will be Mazda’s entry level compact in the EV field. And don’t forget, it’s better to have 195 pound-feet instantaneously than it is to have 300 delivered only after a certain RPM range. The car will have no trouble getting going and should be a smart little city runabout.