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IN a year that sees Mazda celebrate its centenary, the brand has launched its first all-electric production vehicle and part of an electrification strategy that has already seen Mazda M Hybrid, mild hybrid fitted as standard to the Mazda3 and Mazda CX-30.

The new EV is a stylish and versatile crossover, the Mazda MX-30 features an AC synchronous electric motor and a 35.5kWh lithium-ion battery that delivers a range of approximately 124miles and comes with AC charging up to 6.6Kw and DC rapid charging designed to meet 125A Combo Charging standards.

The initial batch of cars is limited to 500 First Edition examples, costing £30,495 on-the-road – £26,995 inclusive of the OLEV grant.

The complete range starts at £28,545 rising 5o £32,845 and in a full year Mazda UK expects to sell around 2,600 models.

There are some stylish touches to the MX-30 – the front doors open forward to an angle of 82 degrees, while the rear doors open backwards to an angle of 80 degrees with the B-pillar incorporated in the door providing enough strength to gain 5-stars on the NCAP testing.

As well as being a smooth performer, this car is a corker in other ways as well – a the sense of space is enhanced with a floating centre console that sits independently from the dashboard, while the use of environmentally-friendly materials has been carefully matched to meticulous quality and finish.

The lower console incorporates a 7-inch colour touch-screen air conditioning control panel, and in a nod to Mazda’s founding as the Toyo Kogyo Cork Company in 1920, the Mazda MX-30 features cork lined centre console trays and inner side door handles. Harvested from the bark of trees without felling, the use of cork and door trim materials that incorporate fibres from recycled plastic bottles, are perfectly suited to Mazda’s first pure electric production car.

Standard interior equipment includes a windscreen projecting head-up display, 8-way electric adjustable drivers’ seat, a colour 7-inch TFT dial display, a leather wrapped steering wheel and chrome trim accents.

The MX-30 First Edition comes with Mazda Connect, navigation, plus Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, while the technology tally also includes Mazda Radar Cruise control and a driver’s knee airbag.

The Mazda MX-30 First Edition is equipped with both a Type 2 mode 2 charge cable for 3-pin plug charging and a Type 2 mode 3 charge cable for AC charging via home or public charge points. Additionally, the DC socket allows for rapid charging up to 50Kw. In this charge mode a charging time of 30 to 40 minutes can deliver up to 80 per cent battery charge. Buyers will also get a free home charger from launch.