Mazda will finally join the EV bandwagon in 2020 - and it won’t be based on an existing model.
The all-new 2019 Mazda3 made its world debut at the 2018 LA Auto Show, featuring Mazda's revolutionary, highly efficient Skyactiv-X engine, which combines the advantages of gasoline and diesel engines. But if you're looking for an even more efficient Mazda model, the automaker has confirmed it will launch its first ever electric vehicle in 2020. And according to Autocar, it will be a standalone model, so it won't be based on an existing model. A rotary-engined range-extender version of the same car will also arrive around the same time, followed by Mazda's first plug-in hybrid in 2021.
There's no word yet on which bodystyle the Mazda EV will have, but we wouldn't be surprised if it ends up being an SUV. Mazda's design boss said he doesn't want the model "to look digital." According to Autocar, this means he wants the design to match Mazda's current range. Mazda's European design boss, Jo Stenuit, clearly isn't a fan of recent EV designs. "We don't want an EV to look like a fridge like some other car makers," he said.
Mazda Europe boss Jeff Guyton also confirmed that Mazda's first EV won't be developed as part of its joint venture with Toyota announced last year as development started before the alliance. When it launches in 2020, Mazda will be rather late to the EV party. Instead, the automaker has focused on further developing internal combustion engines to make them more efficient. The compression-ignition gasoline engine powering the Mazda3, for example, is said to reduce fuel consumption by up to 30 percent.