The Mazda Arata: New Electric SUV Offering

Mazda remains committed to the MX-30 despite mixed reception.

The highlight at Mazda’s booth at the 2024 Auto China show is definitely the electric rear-wheel-drive 6 sedan. Yet, it’s not the lone introduction. Revealed in China is a stylish electric SUV concept named the Arata, set to start production by the end of next year.

Similar to the EZ-6 sedan, the Arata is a product of the collaboration between Changan Automobile and Mazda through their joint venture, Changan Mazda, established in late 2012. The production version is expected to have a different name, possibly an alphanumeric one like other SUVs in the lineup. In fact, the name “EZ-60” has already been registered as a trademark in China, hinting that it could be the chosen designation for this new vehicle.

Meanwhile, the Arata (Japanese for “new” or “fresh”) offers a sneak peek at a stylish electric SUV that may have some connection to a current model. The EZ-6 is anticipated to be a revamped Changan Depal SL03, while the EZ-60 is expected to be built upon the Changan Deepal S7. Nevertheless, these won’t be mere badge swaps; significant design distinctions are in store. The Mazda sedan and SUV pair appear noticeably more upscale, likely justifying a higher cost.

The Arata is exclusively an EV, for the time being, while the EZ-6, which will be available for purchase in China this year, will come with a plug-in hybrid option. The SUV sticks to the well-known Kodo design language and features compact windows and stylish front and rear lights. Similar to the sedan, it comes with an illuminated grille. Additionally, the prominent “Mazda” logo on the sides is also illuminated.

As it is still in the conceptual stage, the vehicle features cameras in place of traditional mirrors and eliminates door handles and a rear wiper. Mazda added a bold spoiler with a vertical third brake light that appears to stretch up to the roof panel. The quarter panel design creates the look of flying buttresses, although it’s unclear if there is a literal opening. Nevertheless, it’s a surprising design element for an SUV.

Mazda has not announced any plans to sell the sedan and SUV in markets beyond China, where they will be produced. The Zoom-Zoom company has been cautiously moving towards electrification, recognizing the undeniable trend towards EVs. Despite the MX-30’s lackluster sales performance, Mazda understands that embracing electrification is crucial for its long-term viability.

Source: Mazda


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