By on October 21, 2019

Image: Mazda/YouTube

No one predicted this! Scratch that — everyone and their mother predicted this, because to craft a brand’s first electric vehicle as anything other than a family-friendly crossover would seem foolish in today’s market. Sorry, Lexus.

In the lead-up to this week’s Tokyo Motor Show debut, Mazda has given us our best glimpse yet of its new EV.

A brief video released in past days shows us four angles of the vehicle without showing us too much. Given our view of a hood and nothing below it, we don’t know if this gas-free model tosses the attractive grilles Mazda’s known for foisting on its models, but other angles provide a better look. From the side, the EV appearing on October 23rd has the clear profile of a crossover — a slightly flattened roofline with the liftgate cut clearly visible above the C-pillar. A shot of the rear corner shows a strong connection to the just-released Mazda 3, rocket-exhaust tail lamps and all.

Image: Mazda/YouTube

The side shot tells us there’s pronounced wheel arches in store, mimicking, at least from this angle, various Subarus. What none of the angles provides is a view of the rear door, which is only notable because Mazda claims “the overall form is uncompromisingly simple and adopts a unique door concept, opening your mind.”

Image: Mazda/YouTube

What unique attribute Mazda has planned for this model’s doors remains to be seen. While the automaker claims the new model goes its own way in terms of design, the EV apparently doesn’t stray from brand’s Kodo design language. A Mazda needs to look like a Mazda, regardless of propulsion source.

It’s no surprise to see a crossover slink onto the scene. While testing its new in-house powertrain, Mazda outfitted the test mule with a CX-30 body. Power was about what you’d expect from a small, front-drive electric vehicle, though the rotary engine range-extender said to power longer-range versions of the vehicle was not present.

Check back in two days’ time to see the fruits of Mazda’s electrified labor.

[Images: Mazda/YouTube]

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6 Comments on “Shocker: Mazda’s Upcoming EV Looks Like a Crossover, Because What Else?...”

  • avatar

    Interestingly, I see a slightly different profile than the author. Of course, like he said, we don’t see TOO much.

    Look at that profile again and follow the light and dark strips of color that conceal everything below the shoulder and behind the C-pillar. If you follow that shoulder line back, the rear of the car appears longer than that ‘hatch’ the author sees, suggesting that the model is a lift back and more likely belonging to a sport coupe model more than a crossover… or maybe a screwy four-door coupé not too different from Tesla’s Model S. The odds appear about 50/50 that it’s a sporter or a crossover. Personally I’d prefer a 2-2/2 door coupe as I have always liked lift back models over the vertical hatches.

    • 0 avatar

      I’m seeing a shape along the lines of a Mercedes GLC. Stylish crossover with a liftback.

    • 0 avatar
      Stanley Steamer

      I agree, the cabin would be too short if it were a typical vertical tailgate design.

    • 0 avatar

      The EV should end up like a CX-30 or a CX-5, as this is the bread and butter of Mazda’s lineup today. I am pretty intrigued by this vehicle and look forward to seeing the rest.

      The “unique door concept” sounds interesting. Will it be:
      A. Rearward half-doors like the RX-8 or an extended cab truck?
      B. Gullwing doors like the Delorean?
      C. Sliding doors like a minivan?*
      D. Reverse Lambo doors?
      E. Something else?

      * I wish carmakers had the guts to offer minivan doors on SUVs.

  • avatar
    Stanley Steamer

    Ugh, mirrors mounted above the door sill in the glass area. So 2009. I like door mounted mirrors.

  • avatar

    Or, look at this leak/photoshop here:

    Several features seem to match, including windshield rake, tail lights, “unique doors,” sloped tailgate, wheel arches, etc. The specific graphics probably will be different, but I would wager the overall proportions are correct.

    The RX-8 style suicide doors suggest it will be similar in passenger space to the BMW i3. The long front end is odd for an EV and seems to be a waste. I’d expect they could fit a small 1-rotor Wankel & motor easily under less hood.

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