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Rotary power returns to Mazda

Not-for-Oz plug-in hybrid MX-30 e-Skyactiv R-EV uses rotary engine as range extender

16 Jan 2023

MAZDA has finally announced the return of its iconic rotary engine, though perhaps not in the form many enthusiasts would have hoped.


GoAuto understands the MX-30 R-EV will be priced to match the all-electric model already available in most markets, however, Mazda Australia has confirmed it will not be sold Down Under.


Instead of providing high-revving motivation for a future ‘RX’ sportscar, Mazda’s pistonless eccentric rotor unit will feature as a range extender to the electrified MX-30 SUV.


Unveiling its production-ready MX-30 e-Skyactiv R-EV plug-in hybrid at the Brussels Motor Show this week, Mazda said the vehicle will leverage the unique way in which rotary engines can produce the required output within a small amount of space.


Total system power for the vehicle is rated at 139kW. The 17.8kWh lithium-ion battery pack contributes up to 85km of all-electric range on the WLTP cycle, with the remaining range figure – yet to be published by Mazda – coming from an 830cc Wankel-type petrol engine.


Sharing the front axle are the petrol engine and electric motor-generator, the former fed by a 50-litre fuel tank.


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 offers a 1500W vehicle-to-load power supply feature and offers three drive modes (Normal, EV and Charge).


Mazda Australia senior manager of public relations and corporate communications Amy O’Brien told GoAuto the plug-in hybrid MX-30 will not be coming to these shores.


“Globally, Mazda introduces models and powertrains to markets based upon a multi-solution strategy that considers regional differences in energy production, environmental regulations, and customer needs,” she explained.


“In Australia this year, we are focused on launching our new large platform hybrid models in Mazda CX-60 and CX-90, plus a range of updates across key model lines, including CX-8 and Mazda6.”


For those countries that will get the MX-30 e-Skyactiv R-EV, it will be offered in a special edition variant dubbed the Edition R.


The model takes some of its styling cues from Mazda’s early R360 coupe, includes black exterior and interior theming, an exclusive emblem, and rotary-inspired design elements sewn into the floor mats and head restraints.


According to spokespeople from the Hiroshima-based company, the MX-30 e-Skyactiv R-EV and MX-30 e-Skyactiv R-EV Edition R will offer a “pure, pleasant drive, an exterior with a familiar approachable look, and cabin space that settles the mind and heart through the use of materials with a warmth to them”.


Speaking at the Brussels Motor Show, Mazda said that moving toward 2030, it will continue its research based on its human-centred philosophy, create more moving experiences for people to enjoy while driving in their daily life, and deliver more enjoyment to everyday life which will uplift and energise people.

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