Mazda has confirmed it will launch its first battery-electric production car at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show. We’re yet to see any teaser 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.
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.
Its 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 percent 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…