Mazda's Rotary Engine Is Making A Comeback

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Sadly, it won't be powering a new Mazda RX sports car.

The Mazda MX-30 debuted last year as the Japanese automaker's first-ever fully electric car. Combining a 143-hp electric motor with a 35.5kWh lithium-ion battery, Mazda's electric crossover will last around 124 miles on a single charge. This is based on the WLTP cycle, so the range would probably be even lower in the US if it was tested by the US.

Instead of prioritizing range, Mazda designed the MX-30 to be as efficient as possible, but its low range would make it a hard sell for the US market. If range is more important to you, Mazda has announced the MX-30 will be offered with a rotary-engine range extender in the future, confirming previous reports.

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That's right: Mazda's rotary engine is making a comeback, although it sadly won't be powering a new Mazda RX sports car. At around seven minutes in a video shared by Mazda, the company's Akira Marumoto confirmed plans to add a range extender to the MX-30. According to the CEO, Mazda will start testing the new rotary engine in prototype models in January 2021.

The plan is to then launch the Mazda MX-30 with a range extender in Japan in the second half of 2022. No technical details were revealed, so it isn't clear how many miles the MX-30 will gain with the range extender.

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Mazda

This isn't the first time Mazda has experimented with rotary range extenders, either. Back in 2012, Mazda built an electric Mazda2 prototype with a range-extending rotary engine that increased the range to 236 miles. This would make the electric Mazda MX-30 more appealing in the US market, but Mazda hasn't announced plans to sell the electric crossover in America yet. Mazda is also launching a plug-in hybrid MX-30 in Japan with a SkyActiv G 2.0-liter naturally-aspirated engine paired with a 5.1-kW assist-motor and a 24-volt battery.

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