The spirit of the RX-8 lives in Mazda's first electric vehicle


What is it?

The MX-30 is Mazda's first EV. It is also the production version of the prototype that we drove a couple of months ago in Norway

Because matter?

Well, first of all the MX-30 breaks down from the orthodoxy EV which says that the cure for autonomy anxiety is bigger batteries. In its current form, its 355-volt battery runs out at 35.5 kWh, which, although Mazda has not released final data, should be fine for around 200 kilometers of fully electric motoring. This should be more than enough for most people's daily commute, even for those going to large urban centers for extra-urban activities.

But instead of offering larger batteries for those looking for long-distance journeys, Mazda is adding an engine that extends to petrol, which extends the current lack of a charging infrastructure. And not just a range extender, but a rotary engine: the latest seen in the RX-8 sports coupe of the company. Not only is the Wankel engine more compact, offering the generous space of the MX-30 cab, but kept at a constant speed (as the generators will do) the rotaries can be quite frugal. In other words, the MX-30 seems to be the EV the world needs – enough electric range to power every day without emissions and a comfortable range extender for long distance motoring – if not the EV you want.

Another take-out aspect of the RX-8 is the rear "suicide" doors of the MX-30 – Mazda calls them freestyle – which open from behind. Like the RX-8s, they are smaller than the traditional rear doors but open an 80-degree help entrance / exit. It seems wise, Mazda claims that the MX-30 shows its new "Human Modern" design. What they really mean is that it's a slightly European version of the classic sport-cute. For those in search of the current offer to judge the MX-30, the new Mazda is about the same size as the Niro of Kia.

Inside, the cabin is perhaps – which should be read easily – the best Mazda still made. Virtually all controls – even the air conditioning system – are now controlled via touchscreen, the dashboard is ultra "clean" with barely a button switch to interrupt its horizontal flow, and Mazda has traced some trims Heritage Cork to highlight the MX- The green of the years & # 39; 30.

When it will arrive?

We will have the MX-30 in the second half of 2020 and we will underline the importance of Canada for Mazda and its aspirations in EV – I suspect the former should be read by avoiding the penalties of the Quebec ZEV mandate – we will be one of the first three markets to receive the MX-30.

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Should you buy it?

Well, it depends on how pretentious and credulous you are. If you fall in love with the logic of Elon Musk that anything outside a pure EV is the denial of climate change and that one needs at least 500 kilometers of autonomy to be considered a true EV, then I don't believe that MX-30 is for you.

But if you are looking for a pragmatic solution for the future of the automobile, the MX-30 – with its rotary range extender – will allow you to cut 80% of greenhouse gas emissions (and the monthly gas bill ) despite having the combined convenience of charging at home and doing gas on the highway. From that point of view, it could be the best thing to do.

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