A sunny day, the traffic still reduced in the post-pandemic Phase 2 and two champions of technology engaged in a relay race on the streets of the capital. Mazda has chosen well, once again, the times and ways to present the first model to arrive in Italy of the new MX-30 compact electric crossover. Stimulated by the problem of organizing anti-Covid test drives, in which double crews cannot travel, Mazda Italia managers invented a parallel tour: a journalist on board a splendid MX-5, the best-selling roadster in the world; another aboard the Mazda MX-30, the first electric from the house in Hiroshima. The result? Exciting. Because after playing with the marches and the roar of the spider up and down the Janiculum hill, along the Tiber and in Monte Mario, moving on to driving the super-technological MX-30 was a surprise. In the first place auditory: in the perfectly soundproofed interior, where the rolling of the tires on the often bumpy asphalt of Rome is not even perceived, the engine sings almost as much as on the sports car. the seductive and irresistible effect of a technological development that follows the philosophy of Jinba Ittai (summarizes the perfect union between man and machine): the creation of the Mazda Ev Sound System, an acoustic system that reproduces the soft but exhilarating sound of the engine in the passenger compartment.

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Nothing to do with certain acoustic devilries invented on other super sports models loaned to the electric (other people’s option, with costs up to 500 euros), so as not to make the owners regret the roar of combustion engines. On the Mazda MX-30 the sound (electronically linked to the performance of the engine) really serves to make you feel the beating heart of the car: the anonymous hum (or the total absence of noise) of other electrics is replaced by a familiar soundtrack, the sound of the engine going up or down, the scale of notes leading from one gear to another. The audio system receives acoustic feedback that signals the status of the torque delivered, which, unconsciously, helps the driver to control the vehicle’s speed more precisely. Mazda engineers have perfected the “symphony” of a running engine: to drive the MX-30, therefore, it also counts to have an ear. But a ban on nostalgia for sports cars – which also have their weight in making us appreciate the versatile elasticity of the electric motor and the great road holding of the 100% electric crossover (Mac Pherson front suspension and twisting bridge rear suspension) -, let’s move on to technical notes on a car that will not fail to excite Mazda fans and to conquer new followers.

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This model is a concentrate of power and technology, with its Hitachi 145 horsepower engine (which develops a torque of 270 Nm @ rpm) can aspire to compete with much larger and more expensive cars. Acceleration from 0 to 100 km / h in 9.7 seconds; maximum speed 140 hours. Consumption 14.5 kWh in the urban cycle and 19 in the combined. And the charge indicator on the display goes up quickly when using the engine brake: with the pedal, or by acting on the steering wheel paddles that allow you to scale the virtual gears. The challenge of making changes in braking disappear was also overcome: it is impossible to distinguish from vibrations when switching from regenerative braking to disc brakes. New features have been added to i-Activsense security technologies. Equipped with the most modern Adas anti-collision systems, with rear and front cameras, the car decelerates with force but without jerks until it stops when necessary; the computer takes over the controls if the driver is distracted and changes the trajectory or slows down the gear as needed. MX-30 is undoubtedly one of the most reliable cars on the market today: We make cars for driving pleasure, but the ones we do are the safest, the Hiroshima manufacturers claim.

The new Mazda MX-30 will be in Italian dealerships from September, but pre-orders are already open thanks to the virtual presentation events organized over the past weeks. So far, thirty cars have already been booked in the Launch Edition in Italy. Rome was in fact the first event with physical presence in post Covid, thanks to the arrival of one of the first models that left the Japanese factory and were transported by air to Europe. MX-30 a declaration of intent – explains the CEO of Mazda Italia, Roberto Pierantonio -, the only electric car with Mazda DNA: here electric technology becomes Jinba Ittai, because we have not only designed a new zero emission engine. Instead, we thought about the real contribution that the automotive industry can make to the environment. This is why Mazda has made a truly counter-current choice compared to the competition: the surprising and original approach of its designers to the problem of limiting CO2 emissions – presented last October at the opening of the Tokyo Motor Show – an electric car with a small battery.

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This racy crossover is the real novelty of 2020, in a market that – before the stop dictated by Coronavirus – was pushing very hard on the presentation of hybrid and full electric models. Now it will be less easy to sell cars of any engine, but in the electric segment that in Italy could place 24 thousand new vehicles by the end of the year, Mazda is planning to do its part. Despite the uncertainty about the new state incentives for non-polluting cars that should be confirmed in the DPCM at the end of June. This car, a unique product on the market for design, materials used inside and design philosophy – intervenes the sales director of Mazda Italy Claudio Di Benedetto -, represents a new chapter in the history of Mazda.

It is a car built around a battery, not a battery with wheels, said Yasuhiro Aoyama, president and CEO of Mazda Motor Europe. The MX-30 is the concrete sign of our commitment to offer customers out of the box solutions – resumes CEO Pierantonio -. the result of a scientific and technically neutral approach to the issue of zero-emission mobility. Why must we make it clear: electric cars are not zero-emission. They certainly help on a local scale, but considering the climate-changing gases due to the production of batteries, it must be clarified that the ‘go electric’ is not enough to do the good of the planet. This explains the choice to mount on the MX-30 a smaller battery, 35.5 kWh, which weighs only 310 kilos, 18% of the total weight of the car (and yet it guarantees an autonomy of 262 km in urban cycle and 200 on mixed). But a battery (produced by Panasonic) that recharges quickly even during use, as our test drive in Rome has shown.

Produce lithium ion batteries and dispose of them it costs a lot in terms of CO2 pollution – Pierantonio resumes – and MX-30 is an interesting alternative for those who want to make a responsible ecological choice. Also in the end-of-life disposal of the battery (160 thousand km), the Japanese company has adopted criteria of maximum containment of emissions and reuse of waste materials. And even the interiors are eco-compatible: the pleasant fabric covers of the seats are made with yarns from regenerated ecological fibers and the breathing fibers obtained from recycled plastics make up the coverings of the door panels; while the storage trays are made of cork (and the oaks hulled for cork, not felled, eat more CO2 to produce new bark). In addition, Mazda is replacing the real leather upholstery with a vegan alternative.

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And let’s go back to the test drive of this crossover that you drive in a completely different way from any other electric vehicle: it will be the effect of the lockdown, but it has been a long time since we had fun like this, even if in an urban route. The solution to put the first display away from the steering wheel (the one on the dashboard), with a non-touch screen (the analog controls are in the knob located at the bottom on the central console, close to the gearbox), manages to prevent it from turning away the look from the street. Among the lights there is a thermometer: for the interior temperature? No, for that of the battery, which cooled by a particular grid system, a radiator that cools it, connected to a three-phase heat pump. There is also the possibility of limiting the maximum battery charge to 70-80% to extend its life or shorten the charging time. Then there is a second screen, on the central console) which is a touch screen, but controls only the climate control panel. The virtual gearbox on the steering wheel helps a lot when you want to push the engine more to sport performance. But also when you want to slow down. There is a widespread use of super rigid materials that absorb kinetic energy so as not to impact the driver and passengers. And the very rigid frame allowed to install all the mechanical parts directly connected to the body, redesigned with multidirectional ring structures. While the G-Vectoring Control Plus (e-GVC Plus) system takes full advantage of the qualities and characteristics typical of the electric car.

Today on the electricity market – Di Benedetto notes – there is no need for super powers, strong accelerations and high speeds, but for a car that responds quickly to the stresses by supporting your movements. Mazda has developed for its first full electric a special pedal, the Motor Pedal, development of the traditional accelerator pedal that reduces the vehicle’s response time to foot actions. The MX-30 therefore drives without jerks: the brain of electrical technology regulates power on the accelerator which controls the torque demand and slows down in a homogeneous, instinctive way. Nothing to envy (of course, there is no vibration) to the glorious and mythical MX-5. Even if here we are on a different planet, this electric promises emotions.

List prices – From September three models will be delivered: the MX-30 Executive, at 34,900 euros; the Exceed, at 37,600; the Exclusive at 39.350.
Body type SUV – Total length Total width Total height 4.395mm 1.795mm 1.555mm 2 – Pitch 2.655mm – Seats 5 people
Power unit: e-Skyactiv – Front suspension MacPherson mast Rear suspension Torsion bar – Steering Rack and pinion – Brakes (ant / post / management) Ventilated discs / Discs – Regenerative braking – Tire size 215/55 R18 – Traction battery: lithium-ion battery with prismatic cells – Total voltage 355V – Total electric power. (battery capacity) 35.5 kWh – Electric motor synchronous AC – Water cooling system – Charging cables suitable for 6.6kW domestic charging and for 50kW fast charge columns (with the latter you can reach 80% of the charge in 30-40 minutes).

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June 30, 2020 (change July 1, 2020 | 10:42)

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