Mazda Surprises With World Premiere Of Hybrid Version Of MX-30 Electric SUV At Rare Car Event

A 1956 Corvette also graced the event floor.

At the Automobile Council near Tokyo on Friday, the only auto show to be staged in Japan since the pandemic struck, Mazda surprised the 3,000 invited guests and media with the world premiere of a gasoline version of its soon-to-be-launched MX-30 pure electric SUV. Up until yesterday, as far as anyone knew, the MX-30 crossover which debuted at the Tokyo Motor Show last November, was going to be a dedicated EV. Now it has a hybrid brother.
Fitted with the same 2.0-liter 4-cylinder gasoline “e-Skyactiv G” mild hybrid system employed in the Mazda3, the all-wheel-drive MX-30 will go on sale by the end of the year. In contrast, Mazda says it will start taking orders to lease the MX-30 fully electric version by the end of 2020, with deliveries starting in early 2021. Featuring suicide doors, like those employed on the rotary-powered RX-8, the MX-30 incorporates controversial styling that takes the crossover in a different direction to its much highly-acclaimed Kodo Design. Penned in that design philosophy, the Mazda3 won the 2020 World Car Design of the Year while the MX-5 captured the same trophy in 2016.

Rising coronavirus cases in Japan worried nervous event organizers who feared the Automobile Council might be canceled altogether, after already being postponed twice. As infections spiked at over 1,500 cases on Friday, the Japanese government re-floated the idea of imposing a state of emergency. In line with current non-state of emergency government guidelines however, all guests were required to wear masks and socially distance while event staff took body temperatures at the venue’s entrance and recorded visitor’s names and phone numbers to maintain a potential tracing protocol.

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