Mazda Brings Back the Rotary

Credit: Original article published by Classic Cars Journal.

In a world that’s rapidly (de)volving into EVs, leave it to Mazda to bring back the rotary engine and add some excitement to our lives. Indeed, Mazda has just announced that it will introduce a new rotary powertrain option for its MX-30 model at the Brussels Motor Show 2023.

Cool beans, right? Yet prepare yourself for the deflation because the rotary engine will be powering an electric generator as part of a new plug-in hybrid.

Mazda calls them ‘freestyle’ doors

Chances are you may not be too familiar with the MX-30 because it’s not one of the core Mazda models that appears in American dealerships. Based on the CX-30, the MX-30 is a crossover that’s available as a mild hybrid and EV, with the latter being the only version available to Americans and only sold in California. The major bone to pick has been its “laughably short driving range” (100 miles), with Car and Driver magazine saying that “Mazda’s first entry into the EV market is compelling from a designer and driving standpoint, but it needs a much larger battery pack to be competitive.” In some ways, the MX-30 EV appears to be the answer to the question that was never asked.

However, a new plug-in hybrid version, christened MX-30 R-EV, should hit a sweet spot for both enthusiasts and commuters thanks to the introduction of a rotary engine. The new vehicle will be unveiled in the flesh at 10 am Brussels time on January 13, 2023, upon which we will be able to learn more about its engineering, driving range and possible American availability.