Mazda has revealed its second-ever all-electric vehicle at Auto Shanghai 2021. The first was the upcoming Mazda MX-30. The second, surprisingly, is based on an existing model we're all familiar with, the Mazda CX-30.
The company revealed very little about what it calls the CX-30 EV, but we can spot one notable difference right away. It rides much higher than the regular CX-30 that we get in the U.S. That's likely because it's accommodating a battery pack beneath the cabin floor.
When a model is designed from the ground up to be an EV, like the MX-30, designers can account for a raft of batteries, but in this case it gives the impression the entire body was snapped onto an EV chassis as if it were a radio control car.
The CX-30 raises a couple of questions. First, we wonder what's under the hood if there's no engine. More important, does the CX-30's excellent driving dynamics translate to an EV?
The Mazda CX-30 is one of the best-handling crossovers we've driven. On one hand, the added weight of a battery array and taller height would typically have negative effects on cornering ability. Then again, a low center of gravity from positioning the batteries on the floor may reduce the penalty. A lot would probably depend on how well engineers were able to adjust the suspension geometry to work with the vastly different platform.
According to InsideEVs, the CX-30 EV doesn't even use Mazda's own MX-30 powertrain. Instead, it might ride on an EV platform built by Changan, one of Mazda's joint venture partners in China.
The idea of an EV infused with Mazda handling is a tantalizing notion, but sadly we'll likely never have the opportunity to find out what it's all about. The CX-30 EV is probably destined to stay in China.