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Mazda begins building MX-30 rotary PHEV

Production of not-for-Oz rotary engine range extender begins, first rotary since 2012

23 Jun 2023

WITH very little fanfare, Mazda announced this week that it has started mass production of the European-spec MX-30 e-Skyactive R-EV.


The vehicle is the Hiroshima-based company’s first rotary engine vehicle in 11 years since the RX-8 was discontinued in June 2012. Mazda has built nearly two million examples of the rotary engine since it was conceived, the MX-30 set to add to that count.


For Europe, the MX-30 e-Skyactive R-EV is a plug-in hybrid model that uses the rotary engine as a range extender / generator. It offers 85km battery electric driving range, after which time the petrol unit fires to keep the vehicle moving.


Mazda says the model is part of a multi-solution approach to achieving carbon neutrality, and that conscious decisions were made in constructing the MX-30, using environmentally friendlier materials and processes throughout the manufacturing process.


Mazda’s 8C-series 830cc pistonless eccentric rotor unit provides the MX-30 with total system power of 139kW. Electrons are stored in a 17.8kWh lithium-ion battery pack while the petrol and 122kW/260Nm electric drive units share and drive the front axle.


The rotary engine features a single 120mm by 76mm rotor set in a cast aluminium housing. It is said to be 15kg lighter than the Renesis twin-rotor unit found in the RX-8, and uses an exhaust gas recirculation system to improve fuel efficiency at low revs, while also reducing emissions. The engine is supplied by a 50-litre fuel tank to aid in a total range of over 600km.


All told, the series-type PHEV system adds 58kg to the weight of the all-electric MX-30, taking the approximate kerb weight of the small-segment SUV to a podgy 1500kg.


Compatible with both AC and DC charging (up to 36kW), the MX-30 e-Skyactiv R-EV may be charged in as little as 25 minutes. It also offers a 1500W vehicle-to-load power supply feature and offers three drive modes (Normal, EV and Charge).


Commenting on the Mazda MX-30 e-Skyactive R-EV, Mazda Motors UK managing director said, “I am really excited about the new MX-30 R-EV joining our electrified line-up”.


“(The MX-30) is a great example of Mazda’s challenger spirit, and thanks to its unique technological approach, it is a car that is the perfect solution for customers who want an electric car for everyday usage, but the flexibility to undertake longer journeys without the reliance on charging infrastructure.


“It is the latest example of how Mazda’s multi solution approach ensures we have cars to suit all our customer’s needs by improving environmental performance with a combination of electrification and clever internal combustion engine technologies.”

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