Update: ‘U.S. launch confirmed’ sub-section of ‘Release Date’ updated.
The Mazda MX-30 Range Extender (R-EV), a plug-in hybrid version MX-30, debuted at the Brussels Motor Show on January 13, 2023. While the MX-30 EV had to contend with criticism about its short range, the PHEV’s compact and efficient rotary engine generator should make it a compelling option for buyers in the subcompact crossover segment. Here’s everything we know so far about the new MX-30 R-EV:
Variants & Styling
Customers in the UK will be offered four variants of the rotary-engined Mazda MX-30 R-EV. Prices range between GBP 31,250 (USD 37,626) and GBP 37,950 (USD 45,693). The top-end grade is an “Edition R” limited to just 400 units in the country.
The exterior styling of the MX-30 R-EV mirrors the look and feel of the MX-30 EV. The sharp-looking front fascia with the brand’s ‘Kodo’ design language and recessed but sleek LED headlamps look great. The long hood leads to an athletic and bold side profile with large wheel arches featuring 18-inch Grey Metallic alloy wheels that are specific to the R-EV.
A generous amount of black body cladding, along with the sloped roofline and rear glass area, add to the crossover’s sporty and dynamic stance. Meanwhile, the contrasting two-tone color scheme and unique “freestyle doors” make this design appear chic and contemporary. The limited “Edition R” variant of the MX-30 R-EV gets a Jet Black exterior color with eye-catching ‘Maroon Rouge’ side panels, which Mazda claims is a homage to its R360 Coupe introduced in 1960. Further, the diamond-cut 18-inch wheels have an all-black finish.
The interior of the Range Extender version follows the overall design of its pure-electric stablemate. That’s to say, it’s just as modern and minimalistic up front while carrying forward the compact but claustrophobic feel at the back. Build quality and driver ergonomics remain strong suits. The interior of the limited variant gets two-tone vegan leatherette upholstery and embossed “Edition R” emblems on the headrests as an homage to Mazda’s Rotary technology. There are also different floor mats with orange stitching & variant tags, plus a bespoke key fob with “Edition R” branding.
|Aspect||Mazda MX-30 R-EV Specification|
|Powerplant||830 cc Rotary 1-Cylinder|
|No. of Electric Motors||One|
|Combined Power||125 kW (168 hp)|
|Combined Torque||260 Nm (192 lb.-ft.)|
|Top Speed||87 mph|
|0-60 mph||9.1 seconds|
|Fuel Capacity||50 liters (13.2 gal.)|
|Weighted Combined Fuel Consumption (WLTP-est.)||282.5 MPGe|
|Battery Capacity||17.8 kWh|
|Charge Time (20-80% SoC)||4 hours & 50 min. (AC at 2.4 kW) / 25 min. (DC at 50 kW)|
|Electric Range (WLTP-est.)||53 miles|
|Combined Range (WLTP-est.)||400 miles|
|Curb Weight (incl. driver)||1,881 kg (4,147 lbs.)|
The powertrain of the MX-30 R-EV pairs an 830 cc rotary internal combustion engine (generator) with a front-mounted electric motor to produce a total of 125 kW (168 hp) and 260 Nm (192 lb.-ft.) of torque. While its top speed of 87 mph is identical to the EV, the R-EV completes the sprint from 0-62 mph in a quicker 9.1 seconds.
The hybrid powertrain of the MX-30 R-EV features a 17.8 kWh lithium-ion battery pack, which Mazda says allows an all-electric range of 53 miles (WLTP cycle). Using a 50 kW DC fast-charger will take the battery’s SoC from 20-80% in just 25 minutes, with a Level 3 AC charger achieving the same SoC in 1.5 hours. When connected to a 2.4 kW domestic socket, the MX-30 R-EV’s batteries will need 4 hours & 50 minutes to go from 20-80% SoC.
|Length||4,395 mm (173.0 in.)|
|Width||1,795 mm (70.7 in.)|
|Height||1,555 mm (61.2 in.)|
|Wheelbase||2,655 mm (104.5 in.)|
|Turning Circle||11.4 meters (37.4 feet)|
|Ground Clearance (unladen)||136 mm (5.4 in.)|
|Front Track / Rear Track||1,565 mm (61.6 in.) / 1,565 mm (61.6 in.)|
|Boot Capacity (rear seats up / rear seats down)||332 liters (11.7 cu. ft.) / 1,155 liters (40.8 cu. ft.)|
Revealing that the MX-30 will mark the return of the rotary engine, Mazda said that “the MX-30 will be the car heralding the renaissance of rotary engines in Mazda cars.”
On why Mazda picked a rotary engine for the MX-30
Mazda is synonymous with the rotary engine but has other reasons for employing it in the MX-30 Range Extender. It is compact and significantly lighter than a comparable reciprocating engine and can easily be integrated into an EV. The “unparalleled smoothness and quietness of operation” because of its unique working principle would ensure that the fitment of a gas-powered engine doesn’t take away the calm and comfortable EV driving experience from the MX-30 EV.
Mazda’s rotary engine technology is known for its benefits like small size, lightweight, high power, and quietness. In 2013, Mazda had demonstrated a Mazda Demio EV (Mazda2 EV) with a rotary engine range extender that could deliver a range of 400 km (249 miles).
With no reciprocating mass such as vales or pistons, unlike in a traditional engine, a rotary engine can allow smoother power delivery and operate at high revs. With fewer moving parts, the size and weight of the engine are low. According to a report from designnews.com, Mazda has developed mufflers to reduce the sound emitted by the MX-30’s rotary engine to preserve the experience in the cabin.
In the UK, the Mazda MX-30 R-EV is available to order now, and it will start reaching dealerships in the summer of 2023.
U.S. launch confirmed
Jeff Guyton, President & CEO, Mazda (North America) has said that European countries and Japan are the priority markets for the MX-30 R-EV, but that doesn’t mean Mazda doesn’t plan to launch it in the U.S., Automotive News reported on February 10, 2023.
Speaking to thedetroitbureau in December 2020, Guyton had said that the range extender variant (with the higher travel range) would be “more appropriate” for American buyers. Later, he confirmed that the MX-30’s range extender variant will be available in the U.S.
“The battery-powered MX-30 will begin the introduction of additional electrified models, including a series plug-in hybrid with a rotary generator for MX-30, a plug-in hybrid for our new large platform,” Guyton said in an announcement on April 14, 2021. He added that this rotary engine would operate nearly silently, indicating the driving experience will be very similar to that of the standard MX-30 EV – quiet and smooth.
While Mazda has said that it will bring the MX-30 R-EV to the U.S. market, the company is yet to provide a definite timeline for its launch. This leads us to believe that it will be 2024, or later, when the MX-30 R-EV finally hits U.S. shores, as the brand focuses on the CX-90 and CX-70 SUVs for the year. That said, we hope Mazda is not having second thoughts about its American launch.
The MX-30 EV failed to excite the market, and its small battery and low range are seen as impractical by many in the United States. The rotary-powered MX-30 PHEV, following likely in 2024, will offer the feel of all-electric and the confidence of never having to worry about running out of juice. We see the rotary-powered PHEV as training wheels for the next-gen all-electric Mazdas starting in 2025.
Featured Image Source: Mazda