Mazda hinted its first series-produced electric car, the MX-30 introduced in late 2019, might not be sold in the United States. We could see it on our shores with another powertrain under its coupe-like sheetmetal, however. The company announced a mild-hybrid variant of the crossover during a press conference held in Japan.
Technical details about the gasoline-electric MX-30 are hazy, but Mazda said it's powered by the same basic mild-hybrid system available in the Mazda3 and the CX-30. That means the drivetrain is built around a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and a small electric motor that captures the kinetic energy generated while braking. It uses this electricity to power the car's electronics, and it injects it into the driveline to deliver bursts of extra power.
Fuel economy and performance figures haven't been released yet. We expect the mild-hybrid model will be quicker than the heavier electric version, and its driving range will be appreciably greater. The electric model is equipped with a relatively small, 35.5-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack that delivers a 124-mile range. Mazda explained using a smaller pack yields total CO2 emissions on par with a turbodiesel-powered Mazda3.
The biggest visual difference between the two variants is an e-Skyactiv-G emblem on the hatch. Both model wear the same sporty design characterized by a steeply-raked roof line and a set of rear-hinged half doors reminiscent of the rotary-powered RX-8. It's the same story inside, where the hybrid and the EV are all but identical.
Significantly, the hybrid MX-30 is expected to cost less than the electric model, which carries a base price of €33,490 (about $40,000) in Germany. All told, it's better positioned than the EV to stick the landing if it's sent to the United States.
Mazda hasn't yet published a list of the countries where it will sell the hybrid MX-30. Autoblog asked the company for additional details, and received word back that the company hasn't yet "made any announcements on MX-30 for the U.S. market."