The Mazda EZ-6 Is The Electric, Rear-Wheel-Drive Mazda Sport Sedan We Want

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I’m a fan of Mazda. I think that everybody who loves well-designed, fun-to-drive cars probably appreciates the brand on some level. That’s why it’s been especially disappointing to see Mazda end up somewhere between “very late” and “non-entity” in the electrification game. Sure, it has some plug-in hybrids and more are coming, but what would happen if Mazda really set its mind to EVs?

Today we found out at the Beijing Auto Show. The answer is the Mazda EZ-6, and it’s a proper rear-wheel-drive, all-electric or plug-in hybrid sedan with next-level Mazda good looks. And I’m already a fan.

This story comes with the usual caveats, like the fact that because it’s a joint project with China’s Chongqing Changan Automobile, it’s extremely unlikely to ever come to North American shores. And considering how hard the “foreign” brands are getting hammered in China as the homegrown competition steps up, it’s anyone’s guess how successful it will be.

But here is a handsome, electrified, rear-drive Mazda four-door. I’m into it.

Mazda EZ-6

The design here is a clear evolution of the “Kodo” design language that’s so appealing on the brand’s other cars. It’s supposed to be fun, too; Mazda says the “Jinba Ittai” (meaning horse and rider as one) spirit is baked deep into the chassis for sporty handling and braking. The EV model even has 50:50 weight distribution and an electric-powered rear spoiler. It also offers “intelligent parking technology” that even works outside the vehicle, implying some kind of Tesla Summon-like feature to me. 

Mazda isn’t offering any key powertrain details here, such as electric battery size, horsepower, zero to 60 mph times or even what size internal combustion engine the PHEV model will use. But the automaker does say the EV version will have a range of 600 km (372 miles) and the hybrid will do an impressive 1,000 km (621 miles.) Note that all of that is on China’s range testing cycle, which is different from ours, but interesting nonetheless. 

Mazda EZ-6

Even if Chinese car buyers are turning inward, Mazda also says it will keep working with local partner Changan to make the cars those people want, which increasingly are full-EV or have some form of electrification. “Going forward, Mazda will continue to work with Changan Automobile to turn Mazda’s China business around by introducing its unique products that meet the needs of Chinese customers who prefer advanced vehicles,” Mazda CEO Masahiro Moro said in a news release. 

I wish I could say that this car previews some kind of EV (or even PHEV) sedan we’re getting in the U.S. too, but I’d say that’s extremely unlikely. Instead, it is proof that even if it needs a local Chinese partner to do it, Mazda is making moves in the electrification space. 

And hey, let’s hope any new Mazda sedans that come our way do look this good—and are powered by electrons, too. 

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