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Mazda has officially confirmed that its first mass-production electric vehicle will debut at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show next month. Described as a completely new model, the EV was “developed in accordance with Mazda’s human-centric philosophy” and “offers performance drivers can enjoy effortlessly and whole-heartedly,” the Hiroshima-based carmaker says.
We already knew that Mazda will be bringing its first EV to the bi-annual Japanese motor show, as a spokesman revealed to Automotive News last week. The company aims to start sales of the EV next year, before putting plug-in hybrids on sale in 2021 or 2022, it was previously reported.
Mazda already has prototypes hiding the EV architecture under the CX-30 crossover’s body with “Mazda e-TPV” (Electric Technology Prove-Out Vehicle) stickers, but the car heading to Tokyo will be the real deal. No confirmation on what bodystyle the EV will adopt, though.
The e-TPV test mules are powered by a 35.5 kWh battery, pushing out 140 hp (105 kw) and 264 Nm of torque. This is said to be Mazda’s internal development, separate from the joint development work the company is doing as part of a Toyota-led EV consortium. Founded in 2017, the EV alliance includes Subaru, Suzuki and Toyota’s supplier Denso.
It is said that the upcoming Mazda EV will be available in two forms — a fully electric version and one with a range extender. The full EV will be for markets such as Japan, Europe and China, while the RE version is seen as necessary for North America and other markets where daily commutes are longer.
The range extender in question is expected to be powered by a small rotary engine, putting a unique Mazda spin to things. For a more in-depth look into Mazda’s EV plans and the rationale behind using the rotary engine as the RE, check out our takeaways from the Mazda Technology Briefing 2018. Not long more now.
GALLERY: Mazda e-TPV electric prototype