Avatar photo

By Siyavuya Mbaduli


Mazda restarts rotary engine production, but not for a new RX

Rotary alleviates criticism of the regular EV MX-30's lack of range and power.

After an 11-year hiatus, Mazda is once again embarking on the mass production of rotary engines. The return of the iconic powertrain comes with the introduction of the MX-30 e-Skyactiv R-EV plug-in hybrid SUV, although it’s not what you think.

Rotary’s new purpose

Although the MX-30 itself is not a newcomer, the plug-in hybrid variant recently made its world debut. Mazda claims the MX-30 R-EV can cover up to 85 km of electric power alone, with the 830 cc rotary engine stepping in to recharge the battery and provide additional power to the electric motor. All the reborn rotary does in the latest Mazda model is act as a generator.

ALSO READ: Rotary officially returns as range extender for Mazda MX-30

This plug-in hybrid configuration combines a 17.8-kWh battery with a 50-litre fuel tank, offering a remarkable overall range exceeding 600 km. The electric motor generates 122kW/260Nm.

Mazda commences rotary production after a decade
MX-30, for now, will remain the sole rotary model Mazda will produce. Image: Mazda.

When it comes to the rotary engine itself, Mazda has ensured it meets the demands of our modern era. Notably, it is more than 15 kg lighter than the twin-rotor Renesis unit found in the RX-8.

Mazda commences rotary production after a decade
Synonymous rotating powerunit will merely serve as a generator. Image: Mazda.

The new rotary engine showcases advancements such as direct injection and an exhaust gas recirculation system, reflecting Mazda’s commitment to pushing the boundaries of engineering excellence.

Purpose of return unlikely to be accepted by all

The MX-30 e-Skyactiv R-EV plug-in hybrid SUV, with its reintroduction of the rotary engine, exemplifies Mazda’s progressive approach to sustainable mobility but will it be worth rebooting production for the unique powertrain configuration?

Article first appeared on carmag.co.za.

NOW READ: Mazda confirms rotary’s return but with a difference

Read more on these topics

electric cars Mazda SUV

Access premium news and stories

Access to the top content, vouchers and other member only benefits