A look back though Mazda’s history reveals that the MX name actually pre-dates the world’s best-selling roadster, the MX-5, and has in fact been used more than a dozen times across a broad spread of production, concept and racing Mazdas. The banning of rotary powered cars after the Mazda 787B took victory in the 1991 Le Mans 24 Hours spawned he most radical car to wear the MX badge in the 1990s – the MXR-01 prototype race car, of which just five examples were built. Sadly, the 1992 collapse of the World Sportscar Championship for which it was built denied the MXR-01 the chance of success, and spelt the end of Mazda’s world level motorsport programme. While retaining the beautiful, handcrafted forms of Kodo design, the styling of the Mazda MX-30 is further inspired by the ‘Human Modern’ concept – an exploration of a more expressive design direction which focuses on emerging new values and lifestyles. The interior is designed to give occupants a sense of being ‘enveloped in openness’, and features a floating centre console and unique materials designed to minimize environmental impact. This ‘Human Modern’ concept spurred numerous unprecedented design approaches. The exterior is uncompromisingly simple to emphasize its beauty as a solid mass, while its freestyle doors and framed glasshouse hint at the open, airy and spacious feeling of the cabin within.
The design team paid particular attention not only to the selection of the right materials within the cabin but also to showing them in ways that bring out their best. For instance, the heritage cork used in the centre console tray is designed to emphasize the texture and visual warmth of the material. And the door trim features a fibrous material with a texture that seems to contain air, reinforcing the sense of openness within the cabin at an unprecedentedly detailed level. For the first time in a Mazda, the MX-30 adopts a touch-screen air-conditioning control panel on a 7-inch screen in the lower centre console. The controls are simply displayed and intelligently grouped for safe and intuitive operation. Both of these materials are designed to be low-impact and sustainable. The door trim uses fibres made from recycled plastic bottles and the cork is harvested from the bark of trees without felling. In addition, Mazda is replacing real leather upholstery with a vegan alternative. From materials to functionality, and from technology to design, all the cabin elements work together to create a space that encourages peace of mind from the moment customers open the door and throughout the driving experience, right up until they exit the vehicle.
The Mazda MX-30 introduces a new electric drive technology to Mazda, called e-Skyactiv. With a maximum system power of 107 Kw/145 PS and a maximum torque output of 270,9 Nm, the front-wheel drive MX-30 will accelerate from 0-100 km/h in 9.7 seconds. Mazda wants to enrich people’s lives through the car ownership and driving experience. The company envisions cars existing sustainably with the earth and society, and is committed to embracing, tackling and solving new automotive challenges through creative, forward thinking. This is the core of the Mazda vision. Consuming 19 kWh/100km (CO2 emissions 0 g/km; WLTP combined), the e-Skyactiv system’s 35.5kWh lithium-ion battery equips the Mazda MX-30 with a WLTP measured driving range of 200km, far exceeding the 48 kilometres average daily drive of European customers.
Furthering the human-centric engineering philosophy that has spawned new technologies such as Skyactiv-Vehicle Architecture, the multi-directional ring structures of the bodyshell have been adapted and electric G-Vectoring Control Plus (e-GVC Plus) adopted to fully exploit the unique characteristics and qualities of an electric vehicle. Mazda has developed its own bespoke Motor Pedal concept for the Mazda MX-30 – a development of the traditional accelerator pedal which reduces vehicle response time to pedal inputs. In addition, aural feedback related to the torque status of the power unit is provided via the audio system, helping the driver to subconsciously control vehicle speed with greater precision. The MX-30 is also equipped with steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters to further enhance the enjoyment of EV driving. Acting in combination, these systems are designed to enhance the consistency of vehicle response to control inputs, realise seamless transitions between G forces, and improve both agility and stability when cornering, resulting in even greater refinement of the Mazda driving experience.
The e-Skyactiv system’s high-voltage components include the motor, battery pack, inverter, and DC-DC converter. The inverter converts direct current from the battery to alternating current to drive the motor, while the DC-DC converter steps down the voltage to supply power to the car’s 12V auxiliary equipment. The motor, inverter, DC-DC converter and junction box are integrated into a single high-voltage unit that is mounted toward the front of the car. The size of the high-voltage battery mounted beneath the floor was carefully chosen to minimise CO2 emissions throughout its life cycle, from resource extraction through to battery disposal. The motor is a water cooled AC synchronous unit with a maximum power output of 105 Kw and maximum torque of 265 Nm. The prismatic cells of the 355 V lithium-ion system battery generate a total electric power output of 35.5 kw. To reduce its height and minimise its intrusion on cabin space, the battery pack features a high-density battery module, thin busbar wiring to reduce the size of wiring between high-voltage parts, and a thin cooling system.f European customers.
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