You read that right – the under-loved Mazda MX-30 EV has a fresh Wankel rotary engine under the hood, and it’s on sale now. *
Mazda’s MX-30 was never going to set the American sales charts on fire with its 100-ish mile range – and that’s too bad, because the right-sized EV had the right crossover stance, decent cargo space, plenty of room for four, and a level of fit and finish that left several, much more expensive cars feeling like cheap plastic junk (we’re looking at you, Tesla).
The updated MX-30 “R-EV” (for Rotary-Electric Vehicle) heads into 2023 set to change all of that thanks to the addition of a Wankel rotary range extender. The rotary slots in under the hood like it was made to fit there, and makes 73 HP from just 830 ccs’ worth of rotor. Fed by a relatively large 13.2 gallon tank, the new MX-30 R-EV
Key Fob for Scale
It’s worth noting that the little Wankel never actually drives the wheels of the MX-30 R-EV. Instead, it acts as a generator to provide power to the electric motors – sort of like the way most people think the original Chevy Volt behaved (despite many, many articles that bestowed that ability upon the OG Chevy-branded EV, GM engineers have confirmed that the internal combustion engine did, in fact, drive the Volt’s wheels at highway speeds). That means it should deliver a uniform driving experience, regardless of the battery’s state of charge (SOC).
What’s more, with about 50 miles of all-electric range available from the battery before the range-extender even kicks in, that little rotary won’t see a whole lot of action in day-to-day use. Meanwhile, with a big-car 13+ gallon tank in there, a 500-mile one way trip might not be totally out of the question!
What do you guys think? Is this new MX-30 R-EV a perfect sort of “lily pad” car to help make the hop from ICE to BEV, or is Mazda’s rotary revolution a couple of years too late? Let us know, in the comments.
Mazda MX-30 R-EV Plug-in Hybrid
SOURCE | IMAGES: MAZDA.
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* note: US pricing unavailable at the time of this writing; Mazda MX-30 R-EV is on sale now in the EU for €38,050.