It’s no secret Mazda is developing an all-electric vehicle that is scheduled to launch in late 2020.
The automaker is currently testing its first-ever EV underneath a Mazda CX-30 body shell but when the production model arrives next year it will be a standalone vehicle with its own design and likely a dedicated platform as well. Codenamed the Mazda e-TPV (Electric Technology Prove-Out Vehicle), the EV test bed has been driven recently by Chasing Cars’ Iain Curry. The video review provides a very interesting insight into Mazda’s first electric vehicle.
We learn that the electric motor fitted to this prototype delivers 105 kW (141 hp / 143 PS) and 265 Nm (195 lb-ft) of torque. Electricity is stored in a 35.5-kWh lithium-ion battery. These figures are somewhat similar to the Nissan Leaf and Hyundai Ioniq Electric and offer a clue regarding the market positioning of the Mazda EV.
For now, it is uncertain whether it will be a hatchback or a crossover (although the latter is more likely) but one thing is certain: it will be a subcompact vehicle. And now let’s get to the driving impressions. First of all, the acceleration isn’t incredible although the vehicle builds speed nicely.
The e-TPV feels similar to a Mazda3 in corners, which is good to hear, and the steering is precise and progressive. The smooth ride quality is also worth noting. Something else worth mentioning is the fact that engineers haven’t given the EV heavy regenerative braking in order to keep the driving experience close to an ICE-powered car. Mazda has even decided to pump fake four-cylinder engine soundtrack through the speakers to make the transition to EVs smoother for its customers.
We’ll learn more about Mazda’s first EV in late October when the automaker will reveal more details about it, including the design of the interior, at the Tokyo Motor Show.