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March 3, 2020

Mazda Incorporated One Nostalgic Design Detail in the Futuristic MX-30

In a year that sees Mazda celebrate its centenary, the Japanese carmaker is also launching its first-ever all-electric vehicle, the MX-30.

The stylish crossover, fitted with “freestyle doors,” packs a 143-horsepower zero emissions powertrain which Mazda has developed fully in-house called, e-Skyactiv. Together with a 35.5-kWh lithium-ion battery, it has a range of about 209 kilometers.

But beyond the newfangled tech in the MX-30, Mazda designers found a way to integrate one design feature that’s a nod to the company’s origins: the cork-lined center console trays and inner side door handles.

Founded in 1920 as the Toyo Kogyo Cork Company, it manufactured cork before Jujiro Matsuda shifted the company’s focus to manufacture tools when the market for cork dried up following the end of World War I. By 1931, the company changed its name to the Toyo Kogyo Co., Ltd and produced the Mazdago motorized tricycle. It was only in 1984 when Toyo Kogyo officially changed its name into Mazda Motor Corporation.

For its use in the MX-30, the cork is harvested from the bark of trees without felling. Moreover, the door trim materials themselves incorporate fibers from recycled plastic bottles.

The sustainable sourcing of interior materials is certainly perfect for Mazda’s first pure electric production car. And as an added bonus, tips its hat to its humble origins as a cork maker.

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