A Mazda MX-30 rotary will probably be revealed this week

The long-mooted return of Mazda’s iconic rotary engine will lastly happen later this month – at a small motor present in Brussels on January 13, of all locations.

The corporate’s European press workplace issued a brief launch tonight saying it might reveal a brand new MX-30 variant with a plug-in hybrid, utilizing a newly developed rotary as its generator.

It was titled: “Rotary Engine Reborn for the Electrical Age”, which supplies an perception into its utility.

“Devoted to its multi-solution strategy to the worldwide challenges of decreasing greenhouse gasoline emissions, Mazda will introduce a brand new powertrain possibility for its MX-30 on the Brussels Motor Present 2023,” says the assertion.

“Accessible on the European market from the spring this 12 months [March to May] the distinctive plug-in hybrid powertrain of Mazda’s compact crossover will function an electrical generator powered by a newly-developed rotary engine.”

This means that the MX-30 will function as a BMW i3 REx-style collection hybrid when the excessive voltage battery is depleted, which means the rotary will generate cost reasonably than instantly driving the wheels.

It additionally has parallels with Audi’s canned A1 e-tron from 2010.

The MX-30 rotary range-extender has been spoken about for ages now – as one thing for individuals who can’t stay with the total EV’s modest 200km (WLTP) driving vary.

Plus, Mazda has lengthy been determined to carry the rotary again in an period the place gas effectivity is king – by no means a energy of this high-revving and fewer thermally environment friendly engine sort.

We spoke with Mazda Australia advertising and marketing director Alastair Doak again in March 2022 concerning the native plans for the MX-30 rotary, and the reply was constructive for native patrons who need a fair quirkier providing.

“Will probably be unveiled this 12 months,” he stated, earlier than the automotive was clearly delayed. “It’s positively getting very near manufacturing, just about the event is finished on the automotive. We’re excited.”

Nevertheless, the corporate has barely modified its tune within the interim, with Mr Doak telling us extra just lately in October that its Australian prospects had grow to be cloudier – maybe no shock given the MX-30 EV’s modest gross sales right here.

“The automotive does exist and can exist,” stated Mr Doak, including the MX-30 rotary range-extender was nonetheless on the native division’s want listing.

“I believe subsequent 12 months it is going to be unveiled, and from there I’m not fairly positive if it’s going to come to Australia.”

Final 12 months, Mazda did submit a spread of emblems to IP Australia for the naming rights to ‘e-SKYACTIV R-HEV’ and ‘e-SKYACTIV R-EV’, so maybe…

After all, it gained’t be low-cost, for the reason that MX-30 EV itself prices $65,490 earlier than on-road prices (about $71,000 drive-away). Sure the PHEV will use a smaller battery, however the engineering prices of a brand new rotary should be paid for over a restricted manufacturing run too.

It’ll imply the MX-30 can have three drivetrain decisions: the bottom petrol (labelled as a mild-hybrid), EV, and collection PHEV.

As soon as Mazda has a rotary-generator-fired, range-extender, collection PHEV MX-30, it’ll even have an much more eccentric line-up that it presently does.

It already sells the distinctive SkyActiv-X petrol engine with spark-guided compression ignition, and can have a rear-drive in-line six, and a extra standard four-cylinder PHEV providing quickly in the premium-focused CX-60.

MORE: Sluggish-selling Mazda MX-30 Electrical was all the time a distinct segment EV, firm says