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Mazda-EV
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Mazda
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Mazda-EV

Japanese carmaker is about to join the electric generation

News Hub
Friday, October 18, 2019 - 12:55pm

Mazda is the latest carmaker to build a mass-production electric car – and it’s set to appear at next week’s Tokyo Motor Show.

See related 
Tokyo Motor Show 2019 preview: Mazda-EV, Toyota GT86 and more Tesla Model Y 2020: budget electric SUV spied in near-production form

The electric car, currently referred to as the Mazda-EV, is reportedly a compact SUV similar to the Hyundai Kona and the upcoming Tesla Model Y.

According to Autocar, the car’s exterior will have a futuristic design similar to the Mazda 3 but crossed with a “coupe-like cabin”. The interior, meanwhile, is said to feature materials that were “chosen for comfort and ‘eco-friendliness’”.

All will be revealed when the car makes its world debut at the Japanese motoring expo. The event runs from 24 October to 4 November, but Mazda will officially unveil its EV a day early on 23 October.

Prototype reviews

The covers have yet to come off the production-spec version of the Japanese electric car. However, a select few did get behind the wheel of a prototype model based on the company’s CX-30 crossover.  

One of the major differences between Mazda’s EV and its rivals is the sound it makes, according to WhichCar’s Wheels, an Australian motoring news site. The electric Mazda has been designed to mimic a combustion engine, as opposed to the futuristic whirrs emitted by other EVs, as Mazda believes driving is more enjoyable with audible - if fake - engine revs.

Mazda has also reduced the effect of regenerative braking, the motoring site notes, where the car automatically brakes when drivers ease off the throttle to recover energy for its batteries. The move was made to enhance driver involvement, so drivers can’t rely on engine braking to slow the car down.

In terms of performance, the EV feels “more on a par with that of a conventional 1.6-litre turbocharged diesel” and “lacks that immediate kick of acceleration that so many EVs offer”, notes Auto Express.

That said, the car’s power delivery is “silky smooth” and there’s plenty of performance for “daily commuting”, the magazine says. 

Overall, Mazda’s first electric car is shaping up to be a vastly different driving experience compared to other EVs on sale today, says Autocar.

“Mazda must be commended for what it’s achieved so far,” the magazine says. “Not only does this prototype feel original to drive for an EV, but also - for those who desire it - more like a car in the traditional sense of the word.”

Battery range and performance

Power details have yet to be revealed. However, the EV is expected to adopt a similar system to the prototype model driven by the critics. 

Motor1 notes that the prototype, called the Electric Technology Prove-Out Vehicle (e-TPV), is powered by a single electric motor delivering 141bhp and 195lb-ft of torque. 

The system is connected to a 35.5kWh battery pack, which should deliver a range of about 120 to 150 miles, says Auto Express. 

That’s “not huge”, the magazine admits, but Mazda claims that “95% of its target customers for this car drive less than 60 miles a day”.

Price and UK release

The Mazda-EV will go on sale next year, says Autocar, but there’s no official word on pricing yet. 

Given that its closest rivals are the £27,900 Mini Electric and Hyundai’s £35,100 Kona Electric, expect Mazda’s model to enter between the two.

Tokyo Motor Show Mazda Hyundai Tesla

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