Mazda has all but confirmed the imminent arrival of the hotly anticipated MX-30 small SUV for 2021.
According to information published by an Australian government vehicle homologation body that often previews new-vehicle specifications before their official announcement, the DR-series MX-30 is under certification right now, pointing to a release early next year.
Mazda Australia senior PR specialist Adam Davis revealed that an announcement will be made before Christmas.
“The MX-30 is an intriguing prospect,” he said. “Mazda Australia has demonstrated interest in bringing the model here, and that interest remains strong. However, no decision has been made as yet. This certification process does of course give us the option to bring in both MH (mild hybrid) and EV (all electric) models, should we wish to do so.
“We will confirm our decision before the end of 2020.”
Whether this does indeed include the newly unveiled ‘e-SkyActiv-G’ mild-hybrid version with a variation of Mazda’s ubiquitous 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine paired to a so-called ‘M-Hybrid’ 24-volt hybrid system isn’t yet known.
We do understand that the all-electric MX-30 is a goer, however. As previously reported, it delivers 105kW/265Nm from a single electric motor that drives the front wheels.
Interestingly, Mazda calls its first production EV’s battery ‘right sized’ for today due to a comparatively lightweight and affordable 35.5kWh battery enabling 209km of driving range and faster charging because of its relative smallness.
The argument here is that – for the vast majority of consumer commuting needs – this range is more than enough on a daily basis, and that buyers will appreciate other benefits, such as how quickly it can charged up again, the whole-of-vehicle-life lower emissions that a smaller battery brings, and a lower asking price to begin with.
On the subject of pricing (which Mazda Australia won’t divulge for now), the MX-30 starts at just over £25,500 in the United Kingdom – though this includes a $5500 UK government EV grant – putting it at around $A47,000.
In contrast, the current Hyundai Kona Electric with a 64kWh battery and 150kW/395Nm electric motor, offers 449km under the ‘Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP)’, but it starts at $60,740 before on-road costs.
Whether Mazda decides to release a bigger-battery MX-30 in the future to take on the Kona Electric hasn’t been confirmed.
Earlier this month, Mazda reaffirmed it will revive the rotary as a range-extending engine paired to the MX-30’s electric motor, but with testing not even scheduled to begin until early next year, don’t expect to see that in dealerships any time soon.
To recap, the MX-30 is built on the same 2655mm wheelbase as the popular CX-30 small SUV/crossover on which it is based upon.