Mazda’s MX-30 EV gets a rotary range extender

The Mazda MX-30 Crossover electric vehicle. (Mazda Motor Corporation pic)

Mazda Motor Corporation has just announced that their long retired Wankel rotary engine will be back.

Killed off by tightening emissions regulations, the rotary engine is going to make a comeback as a range extender in Mazda’s MX-30 Electric Vehicle (EV) crossover.

At last year’s Tokyo Motor Show Mazda surprised the attending global media when they unveiled the MX-30 Crossover. It was no concept vehicle. Instead it was production ready with a Mild-Hybrid powertrain.

This mild-hybrid system is called e-Skyactiv G and it is a naturally-aspirated Skyactiv-G 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine to Mazda’s M Hybrid mild-hybrid system.

Power delivery figures and its fuel economy numbers are still a mystery but knowing Mazda’s quest for fuel sipping targets with driving enjoyment, we can’t wait to get behind the wheel of this new low emissions vehicle.

Given a special mention in Mazda’s MX-30 online presentation yesterday by CEO Akira Marumoto, it appears that a small batch of these rotary range extender MX-30 prototypes will begin testing next year.

The Mazda MX-30 Crossover electric vehicle. (Mazda Motor Corporation pic)

Production versions meanwhile are scheduled for launch in the Japanese market in 2022.

Thus far though, despite all the hype surrounding the return of what could be thought of as Mazda’s signature product, not much is actually known about the rebirth of this Dorito engine.

No official numbers or specifications have been released by the Hiroshima-based automaker, with the only information from them being that the engine is going ‘to be compact, have a high-power output and be a smooth operator’. Which basically sums up the characteristics of any rotary engine regardless.

What more is that there have not been any plans thus far by Mazda to export this rotary range extender MX-30 to anywhere else in the world.

According to the presentation, Mazda are instead developing ‘multi-electric technology’ that is to tailor to ‘specific regions and customer usage’.

So, don’t hold your breath that the rasping engine tone of a rotary EV will remain a JDM exclusive.

Interior of the Mazda MX-30 Crossover electric vehicle. (Mazda Motor Corporation pic)

In regards to the non-rotary MX-30, an all-electric version of this compact coupe crossover has already gone on sale in Europe last month.

This stylish and versatile crossover EV 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.

A mild-hybrid variant of this jacked-up RX-8 lookalike was also launched in Japan recently.

Seeing that Mazda crossovers seem to be selling like hot cakes here, it would be reasonable to assume that the MX-30 will make its way to our shores soon. It just remains to be seen which powertrain option will be open to Malaysian buyers.

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