Mazda Rolls Out EV, Expands Crossover Lineup, and Adds an I6 Engine

Mazda may not have the scope and breadth of larger competitors such as Toyota, Nissan, and Honda, but it does claim a solid following in the U.S. market. This automaker is making moves as it updates and transitions its fleet, with electrification arriving full force in 2025.

Mazda MX-30
The all-new Mazda MX-30 EV.

New Models, All-Wheel Drive, PHEVs, and an Inline-Six

Between now and 2025, Mazda has several changes afoot. To begin, the company announced the MX-30, its first all-electric model. Arriving this fall, the MX-30 will serve the California market only, and is limited to just 560 copies. Further, the EV has a projected range of only 100 miles and that’s considerably less than the 250 miles of other new EVs such as the Ford Mustang Mach-E and the Volkswagen ID.4.

We see the Mazda MX-30 as simply a compliance model, enabling the automaker to meet the California Air Resource Board’s exacting requirements. Moreover, the electric Mazda targets couples, including people who need a commuter vehicle and likely have a gas model as their other vehicle. No pricing details are available yet, but we see the MX-30 costing perhaps $35,000 before federal and state incentives come in.

Standard All-Wheel Drive

Mazda also announced that each of its CX models, which are represented by crossovers, will come with standard all-wheel drive. That is an approach taken by Subaru for all its models except for the rear-wheel-drive BRZ. The shift is part of the company’s initiative to make Mazda more of a premium brand, like Buick and, of course, Subaru.

The changes are far from finished as Mazda has five new models in the pipeline, including a compact CX-50 model arriving this fall. The new crossover will supplement the CX-5, but it will share its platform with the CX-30. Both models are underpinned by Mazda’s new small vehicle platform.

Large Vehicle Platform

Above the CX-50 are four new models: the CX-60, CX-70, CX-80, and the CX-90. The CX-60 and CX-80 will serve overseas markets, while the CX-70 and CX-90 will serve the North American market. The CX-70 (two rows) and CX-90 (three rows) are midsize models with the latter replacing the CX-9. Pricing and other model details are pending. All four vehicles share a common large vehicle architecture that was introduced by Mazda this year.

The last change announced by Mazda involves powertrains. Specifically, an all-new 3.0-liter inline-six-cylinder engine will power the CX-70 and CX-90 models. It won’t be the only powertrain available for these two models as Mazda will offer a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle variant for both. That powertrain will include a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and at least one electric motor. We believe the engine will come from Toyota. Indeed, the entire hybrid system might come from Toyota, which happens to hold a stake in Mazda.

Alabama Joint Manufacturing Plant

Speaking of Toyota, that company partnered to construct a factory in Alabama with Mazda. The first model, the Toyota Corolla Cross, inaugurated the plant when production commenced in late September. The Mazda CX-50 will also be built there.

Once the new models are in place by 2023, Mazda’s lineup will be comprised of four crossover utility vehicles. A fifth model, the CX-5, is not likely to continue for long. On the car front, the Mazda6 disappears after 2021. That leaves the Miata MX-5 and the Mazda3 as its lone remaining car models. Thus, Mazda’s modified lineup is overwhelmingly tilted to crossovers, in keeping with customer demand.

Lastly, while the Mazda MX-30 introduces full electrification to the brand, more models will follow. Beginning in 2025, a dedicated electric vehicle platform rolls out. Thus, it will initiate Mazda’s pivot to electric vehicles, with many changes to follow.

See Also — Mazda3: Hot Bodies and Available All-Wheel Drive

Matt Keegan
Author: Matthew Keegan
Matt Keegan is a journalist, media professional, and owner of this website. He has an extensive writing background and has covered the automotive sector continuously since 2004. When not driving and evaluating new vehicles, Matt enjoys spending his time outdoors.

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