Mazda EV won't look like an electric vehicle
Mazda has confirmed its first fully-electric car will be a stand-alone model, and not a variant within any of its existing passenger car line-up.
The Japanese brand earlier this year confirmed it will create two battery-powered vehicles - one fully-electric car and another with a small-capacity rotary engine as a range extender - as part of its Zoom Zoom 2030 product plan, which will also include the hybridisation of all other variants in a bid to reduce the whole life 'well-to-wheel' emission outputs of its cars by 90 per cent.
Speaking to Australian media at the 2018 Los Angeles motor show, where Mazda revealed its latest-generation Mazda3 hatch and sedan which introduces its ground-breaking Skyactiv-X engine technology, Mazda design boss, Ikuo Maeda, said the electric vehicles will feature a unique aesthetic but he will resist the temptation to give them a futuristic appearance as Toyota has done with its Prius hybrid and the Mirai hydrogen fuel cell vehicle.
"First of all, if I can comment on the trend for those vehicles; At the moment they have a digital look from the mainstream manufacturers who want to have a certain EV-ness," he said.
"But I hate that direction and I won’t aim for that. From Mazda’s perspective, when we have our EV we want to keep the car-ness about it, and the machine-like feel.
"I don’t know what normal is, but it will be Mazda."
Maeda wouldn't be drawn on what body styles the EV models will take - whether it will be a conventional sedan, hatch or high-riding SUV - but said "many varieties have potential" and the packaging required for a battery vehicle platform would likely dictate its outcome.
"Looking at the powertrain it will be more compact so in that sense there is more freedom but you need more space for the battery and that will have its own restrictions," he said.
One type of vehicle Mazda's EV almost certainly won't be to be is a sports car, as global boss Akira Marumoto said, in a separate interview with Australian media, "I don't want to make such car. I prefer the smell of gasoline".
As Editor in Chief of the Drive Network, Amac is one of Australia's most experienced automotive journalists with more than 25 years experience in newspapers, magazines, broadcasting and digital media.