Mazda MX-30 e-Skyactiv R-EV Debuts With Rotary Engine To Overcome Range Anxiety

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About a decade since production of the RX-8 ended with the Spirit R special edition, Mazda is officially bringing back the rotary engine at the 2023 Brussels Motor Show. Unfortunately, the confusingly called “MX-30 e-Skyactiv R-EV” is far from a sports car and an engine. the rotary was not developed with performance in mind. Instead, it serves as a range extender to make the crossover travel much further than the regular electric version.

The 830 cc petrol engine with direct injection has a high compression ratio of 11.9:1. It develops 75 horsepower (55 kilowatts) at 4,700 rpm and 116 Newton-meters (86 pound-feet) of torque at 4,000 rpm but doesn’t actually move the wheels. As in the Nissan Qashqai e-Power, the wheels are driven exclusively by an electric motor, in this case producing 167 hp (125 kW) and 260 Nm (191 lb-ft) of torque.

With no mechanical connection to the wheels, the role of the rotary engine is to power generators which produce the energy to extend the MX-30’s range to over 600 kilometers (373 miles). The ICE draws the necessary power from a 50 liter gas tank mounted directly in front of the rear axle while a 17.8 kWh lithium-ion battery pack is mounted under the underbody.

Mazda believes owners will be using the vehicle more purely as an EV as they say the all-electric WLTP’s range of 85 km (53 miles) in the combined cycle is enough for one day. Talking about the battery, it takes 1 hour and 40 minutes to fully recharge from the 11 kW wallbox. Going from 20 to 80 percent using a DC connection (36 kW) will take 25 minutes.

The MX-30 e-Skyactiv R-EV takes 9.1 seconds to sprint from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) and is electronically limited to 140 km/h (87 mph). The plug-in hybrid version with the rotary engine is very heavy for a small crossover, weighing 1,703 kilograms (3,754 pounds). Nevertheless, Mazda boasts a very low fuel consumption of just 1 liter / 100 kilometers (62 mi) in the WLTP combined cycle, with CO2 to match2 emission is only 21 g/km.

This carries a starting price of €35,990 in Germany where the entry-level model costs the same as a pure EV. There are five versions of the PHEV available, with the R Edition priced at €45,040.

We should point out this isn’t the first time Mazda has given the MX-30 a petrol engine. In some markets such as Japan and Australia, the crossover has been sold with a 2.0-liter mild hybrid engine that produces 153 hp and 200 Nm (147 lb-ft).

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