2022 Mazda MX-30 Arrives In America As A Very Unique Electric Vehicle

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It's the only one with a rotary engine under the hood.

Mazda, at least in the United States, has been late to the electric vehicle game; the Japanese brand doesn't even have a hybrid on sale at the moment. That is all about to change with the arrival of the 2022 Mazda MX-30, the company's first EV. This model originally debuted in 2019 but Mazda only recently announced it would come stateside. Now that this model is officially coming to the US market, here are the important specs.

The MX-30 uses a front-wheel-drive electric motor getting power from a 35.5 kWh lithium-ion battery. For reference, the smallest battery available in a Mustang Mach-E is 68 kWh, so the MX-30's is quite small. The output figures are similarly modest, with 144 horsepower and 200 lb-ft of torque. This may all sound a bit dissapointing, but the MX-30 has a secret weapon; a rotary engine.

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Much like a Chevrolet Volt or BMW i3, the MX-30 won't strand owners on the side of the road when it runs out of electricity in the battery. No details were given about the engine's size, but the MX-30 will feature a rotary engine under the hood that can replenish the charge. This is the first Mazda since the RX-8 to feature a Wankel rotary engine.

"The rotary generator will mark the return of our unique rotary powertrain," said Jeff Guyton, President of Mazda North American Operations. "This technology is being engineered for nearly silent operation and will replenish the battery rather than drive the wheels. As a result, the MX-30 will always drive like the engaging EV that it is, but with freedom to charge from the wall or on the go."

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Mazda hasn't quoted EPA or manufacturer-estimated range, so it's difficult to predict how far the MX-30 will travel on a charge and a tank of gas. Since the battery is half the size of competing EVs, we believe it may only go a little over 100 miles on a charge. The vehicle will support DC fast charging, with the ability to recuperate 80% of the battery in 36 minutes. Mazda will partner with ChargePoint in the US market, with more details to come soon.

No other details have emerged on US-specific pricing but it looks like the MX-30's funky design remained intact. The MX-30 displays a new "Human Modern" design language concept with unique features like freestyle rear-opening back doors, a floating center console, and renewable materials like cork, a nod to Mazda's history as a cork manufacturing company more than 100 years ago.

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Mazda says the EV-only version of the MX-30 will arrive first as a 2022 model, with the rotary range extender model arriving later in 2022 as a 2023 model year vehicle. More information will be shared closer to the MX-30's launch. This vehicle will only be available in California dealerships starting fall 2021.

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