Mazda will unveil its first production battery electric vehicle later this month at the Tokyo Motor Show
Mazda has released another teaser image for its new battery electric vehicle, which is set to be unveiled later this month at the Tokyo Motor Show. We’re yet to see any undisguised images, and specification details remain sparse, but we expect it will feature an SUV body style and a similar powertrain to the e-TPV prototype we drove in early September.
Mazda says its new EV will employ the latest iteration of its Kodo design language, as used by the Mazda 3, so we expect it will feature a similar grille and headlamp design to the hatchback. The Japanese brand has also confirmed that its new EV will feature a “coupe-like” cabin and a ‘unique door concept’.
• New Mazda e-TPV prototype review
The styling of Mazda’s new EV will be unlike anything else in the Japanese brand’s range, in a bid to distance the car from the firm’s conventionally-powered vehicles. From a packaging standpoint, it’ll have to be a high-riding SUV to allow adequate space for the battery pack under the cabin floor.
The Japanese brand has a history of implementing unconventional door designs on its higher-end production models. The rotary-powered RX-8 (which was built between 2003 and 2010) featured a pair of “suicide” rear doors, while the quirky Autozam AZ-1 kei car from the mid-1990s was fitted with gull-wing doors.
The electric car’s powertrain will likely be similar to the e-TPV prototype’s, with a 35.5kWh battery pack feeding a single electric motor. The mule’s electric system has a maximum output of 138bhp and 265Nm of torque, which it sends to the front wheels via a single-speed transmission.
Should the production EV feature the same-sized battery pack as the test car, it will have a range of between 120 and 150 miles – considerably less than its main future rival, the Hyundai Kona Electric, which can cover up to 279 miles on a single charge. However, Mazda says that up to 95 per cent of its target market drive less than 60 miles per day.
Like the prototype, the production-ready Mazda EV will offer support for both 6.6kW domestic charging and 50kW commercially available rapid charging. For drivers in need of additional range, Mazda says it’s developing a rotary petrol-powered range-extender version which will double the overall driving range – although its production is yet to be confirmed.
What do you make of Mazda’s move into the all-electric market? Let us know in the comments section below…