Mazda will unveil an electric car at next week's Tokyo Motor Show, and a teaser released on Friday confirms it as an SUV.
The EV will be a new addition to the Mazda lineup, as opposed to a version of an existing model, and test mules are already running on public roads using makeshift CX-30 bodies to hide their mechanicals.
The decision to go down the SUV route should come as no surprise given the way the market is heading. Mazda said to expect a coupe-like profile and a new door concept.
The platform is thought to be a version of Mazda's SkyActiv-Vehicle Architecture that debuted in the latest Mazda 3, and not a dedicated EV design. In the CX-30-based test mules, a 35.5-kilowatt-hour battery is used to power a single electric motor rated at 142 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque.
Mazda e-TPV electric car test mule
Mazda in 2017 said it was working with Toyota on EV tech, but the upcoming SUV has been developed exclusively by Mazda. There will be two versions, one with a battery-electric powertrain and another with an extended-range powertrain where the range extender will possibly be a small rotary engine. The extended-range version could make an appearance in November at the Los Angeles Auto Show.
Mazda has already shown an EV concept with a rotary range extender in the form of the Mazda 2 RE Range Extender unveiled in 2013. Its rotary was a single-rotor 0.33-liter engine that with a full tank of gasoline could provide an additional 111 miles of range. A similar setup will likely feature in the new EV.
Sales of the electric SUV are due to start in 2020 but Mazda hasn't listed any markets yet.
The Tokyo show starts October 23. To learn about some of the other vehicles set to appear, head to our dedicated hub.