Behold Mazda’s FWD electric SUV, the MX-30
As we learned from this earlier leak, the flashiest party trick of Mazda’s first EV happens to be its rear-hinged door design, which means that from now on, you don’t have to spend Rolls-Royce or even Lincoln “Coach Door” kind of money for this kind of easy access to the rear. And while Rolls-Royce and Lincoln couldn’t go pillarless in the middle, Mazda has, just like with the RX-8 back in 2003. After all these years, Mazda still calls these “Freestyle” doors, and on the MX-30, the front ones open to 82 degrees and the rear ones to 80 degrees, providing better access for all five who can jump onboard.
Other than that, Mazda promises a driving experience worthy of the MX prefix, even if this SUV is powered by a single AC synchronous motor sending 141 horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque to the front wheels only.
The MX-30’s cabin is all about sustainability. For starters, instead of wood, the EV uses cork leftover from the production of cork bottle stoppers both in the console’s tray section and on the door grips. Mazda developed a dedicated coating to make sure the material will last the test of time, and the cork also pays tribute to the Mazda’s founding in 1920 as the Toyo Cork Kogyo Co., Ltd. Furthermore, the upholstery is made of recycled PET bottles. Mazda says it has developed a new method for integrated molding of textile and plastic fibers, which produces a soft touch fabric.
With a range estimated at 124 miles, the MX-30 is openly tailored for Europe, where Mazda says the average daily commute is just 30 miles and the MX-30 could be a family’s ideal second car. Deliveries there start in the second half of next year, with the MX-30 arriving to the UK in 2021.
America will need to wait for Mazda’s undoubtedly imminent, larger electric cars, or look at other compact EVs for now, like the much more powerful, all-wheel-drive Volvo XC 40 Recharge.