Mazda MX-30 R-EV Returns Rotary, But Not In The Way You’d Think

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  • Mazda has revealed a plug-in-hybrid version of the MX-30 called the e-Skyactiv R-EV.
  • It added a small rotary engine that served as a generator and a 13 gallon fuel tank to extend the car’s driving range.
  • We don’t know yet if or when an R-EV version will be coming to the US

Mazda has found a unique solution to the MX-30 EV’s short driving range, and it involves the company’s first rotary engine since the RX-8 sports car. The new Mazda MX-30 e-Skyactiv R-EV is a plug-in hybrid with a small single-rev petrol engine that acts as a generator to charge the battery and enable longer trips.

Mazda reduced the size of the lithium-ion battery pack, as the R-EV has a 17.8 kWh lithium-ion package compared to the EV version’s approximately 32.0 kWh package. This allows it to cover 53 miles on a cost per WLTP. But when the battery runs out, the 830 cc, 74 horsepower rotary engine kicks in to supply power on the go. Mazda’s 13-gallon fuel tank is larger than other “range-extender” setups including the BMW i3 and Chevy Volt, but Mazda hasn’t provided any further range estimates that include the petrol engine’s increased range.

The R-EV’s electric motor is also more powerful than the EV version, with the electric motor delivering 167 horsepower to the front wheels. Mazda claims it will hit 62 mph in 9.1 seconds, which is roughly on par with the already sluggish EV version’s acceleration. The 3674-pound MX-30 EV hit 60 mph in 8.7 seconds in our test, and the R-EV’s extra 24 horsepower will likely be offset by the extra weight from the rotary, as its claimed curb weight is 3920 pounds.

Visually, the MX-30 R-EV looks almost identical to the EV apart from the different wheel designs and badges. Mazda offers several custom color combinations, and there’s a trim level called Edition R which plays up the rotary theme with an embroidered logo inside for the floor mats and seats.

It’s unclear whether the MX-30 R-EV will be sold in the US. For now, Mazda has only released information about the 2023 MX-30 EV, which is unchanged in comparison and will be resale only in California in limited quantities. The company previously said it would bring rotary PHEVs here, but now says there are “no updates to share on US availability,” which leads us to think it may be some time—or not at all—before this new powertrain is certified on our shores. .

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