Mazda MX-30 R-EV: The rotary engine returns, but not how you wanted it

Mazda MX-30 R-EV Edition R

Mazda has revived its rotary engine, but it’s not in a sporty coupe like the RX7 or RX8. Instead, the Wankel engine has found its way into the newly-revealed Mazda MX-30 R-EV, and only functioning as a generator.

The all-electric Mazda MX-30 made its global debut in 2020 as Mazda’s first battery-electric vehicle (BEV). It was launched in Malaysia in June 2022 and fetches a price of RM198,780. The Mazda MX-30 R-EV is a range extender version of the MX-30 with a plug-in hybrid series drivetrain.

Mazda MX-30 R-EV Edition R

Propelling the MX-30 REV is a different electric motor than what you would find in the all-electric version. In the R-EV the electric motor makes 170 hp (metric) and 260 Nm as opposed to the all-electric’s 145 hp (metric) and 271 Nm. The R-EV is 0.6 seconds faster than the full-EV version in the century sprint, clocking 9.1 seconds.

As for energy storage, the Mazda MX-30 houses a 17.8-kWh lithium-ion battery that provides 85 km of all-electric range. Though that may sound extremely short, do keep in mind that the MX-30 R-EV is a series hybrid with a 50-litre fuel tank.

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It can also be charged like any other plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV). While no kW numbers have been mentioned, Mazda says that the MX-30 Rev can handle both AC (three-phase) and DC charging. AC charging takes around 50 minutes while DC charging takes 25 minutes.

The rotary engine that functions as a generator in the MX-30 is Mazda’s 8C single-rotor engine with an 830-cc displacement. The rotary engine generator will activate based on the degree of accelerator opening and supply the battery with more power.

RELATED: 2022 Mazda MX-30 updated with faster charging, still has only 200 km of range

Upon launch, the Mazda MX-30 R-EV is available in a launch edition dubbed the ‘Edition R’, with the letter ‘R’ simply meaning ‘Return’ to celebrate the return of the rotary engine. The Edition R gets an exclusive colour combination of Jet Black with Maroon Rouge side pillars and a black roof, and pays homage to the roof colour of the Mazda R360.

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