Will debut at 2019 Tokyo Motor Show with RX-8 rear doors

A photo of Mazda’s first all-electric vehicle leaked online ahead of its debut at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show on October 23. It’s called the MX-30, it’s a crossover, and it confirms its position between the CX-3 and CX-5 in the company’s lineup. It’s not yet clear whether this is a concept or a production model, but we will find out soon enough.

The Mazda MX-30 looks interesting to say the least

Mazda's First EV Leaks Online, Will Be Called the MX-30
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The leaked crossover features rear-hinged, shorter rear doors, just like the old Mazda RX-8

The first thing to notice is that the vehicle in this leaked photo is notably different than the test mules spotted on public roads. It’s a bit boxier, it has a smaller front grille, and more importantly, it has rear-hinged, shorter rear doors, just like the old Mazda RX-8. This design feature comes as a big surprise, as all test mules had normal rear doors. What’s more, the video teaser posted by Mazda recently gives a quick glimpse at the car’s profile and it appears to have longer rear doors.

While this feature remains intriguing and mysterious, the rest of the vehicle remains true to Mazda’s current design language. The front fascia borrows heavily from existing crossovers like the CX-3 and CX-5. The headlamps are similar, as is the front grille hidden under the sharp nose. The grille is actually surprisingly big for an EV, as this type of cars don’t need as much cooling as conventional ones and most automakers add closed-off elements on the front fascia.

Mazda's EV Will Be a Crossover Coupe….Yay
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The grille is surprisingly big for an EV, as these type of cars don't need as much cooling

It’s the bumper that’s a tad different here. Interestingly enough, it looks more like a rear diffuser without the vertical fins and includes two sizable vents in the center section. The black trim becomes thinner at the corners, where it extends to the sides and then meets the cladding of the wheel arches.

The MX-30 is pretty generic on the sides, but the roof features a cool coupe-style design toward the back. As mentioned above, Mazda went with tiny rear doors that have 30-percent of the length of the front ones. Given the design, they likely open towards the rear. We don’t have a clear shot of the rear, but it looks as if the MX-30 features thin, horizontal taillights. It probably has a sleek tailgate with a small rear window as well.

The Mazda MX-30 will have a small battery and less than 200 miles of range

Given the size of the battery, the MX-30 won't return more than 150 miles per charge

The MX-30 is rumored to debut with a 35.5-kWh battery. The electric motor fed by this stack will generate around 140 horsepower and some 190 pound-feet of torque. Given the size of the battery, the MX-30 won’t return more than 150 miles per charge. These ratings are similar to the Nissan Leaf, so they will put the MX-30 at the entry-level point of the EV market. The base Kia Niro EV, for instance, delivers 130 horsepower and can travel for up to 179 miles. The Hyundai Kona Electric, another competitor for this MX-30, comes with similar specs.

Granted, 150 miles per charge is a bit below the current standard, but I guess it’s not that bad for the company’s first electric model. Not to mention that Mazda could offer a larger, optional battery pack with more range. A 200-mile capacity would be ideal, especially if Mazda is planning to bring the MX-30 to the U.S.

The leaked crossover could be just a concept

Mazda's EV Will Be a Crossover Coupe….Yay
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Given the massive design differences between the test mules and the image shown here, especially the RX-8-type rear doors, we wouldn’t be surprised if we’re actually looking at a concept. But there are two scenarios here. Mazda could actually unveil a near-production concept in Tokyo and a final version of the MX-30 with normal rear doors a couple of months from now. Or this photo is actually of a concept that Mazda didn’t even bother to show and the actual production model we’ll see in Tokyo is different. Whatever the case, we will find out in less than 24 hours or so.

Further reading

2019 Mazda CX-5
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Read our full review on the 2019 Mazda CX-5.

2019 Mazda CX-3
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Read our full review on the 2019 Mazda CX-3.

2019 Mazda CX-30 Broadens Mazda's Crossover range
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Read our full review on the 2019 Mazda CX-30.

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