This paper describes the development of the drive motor used on a newly developed electric vehicle (EV) that has been specifically designed and engineered as the world's first mass-produced EV. Producing maximum torque of 280 Nm and maximum power of 80 kW, this synchronous motor was selected as the first electrified powertrain to be named to Ward's 10 Best Engines list for 2011. In developing this motor, magnetic field simulations were conducted in the process of adopting the following in-house technologies to achieve a compact motor size, high output and high efficiency.The rotor shape has the interior permanent magnets arranged in a ▽-shaped that achieves a superior balance of torque and power. The flux barriers located on the outer periphery are designed to reduce iron loss. The V-shaped flux barriers provide both excellent mechanical strength and outstanding performance during high-speed motor operation. The motor is built with segmented magnets that reduce eddy current losses to improve continuous output performance.The results of magnetic field simulations and mechanical strength simulations are presented along with a description of each of the unique technologies adopted.