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New Mazda MX-30 2021 will revive rotary engine to tackle Hyundai Kona Electric

The Mazda MX-30’s driving range of around 200km could double with the inclusion of a rotary range-extending engine.

Mazda’s rotary engine revival might be closer to launching than anticipated, but don’t expect to see a new RX sportscar in the coming years.

The small all-electric MX-30 SUV – which is named after the MX-5 convertible sports car – will likely herald the return of the rotary, not the famed RX-7 or any RX-badged model.

In a release celebrating the brand’s 100-year anniversary this year, highlighting the RX-7, Mazda makes mentions that a single-rotor engine could make its way into the MX-30 as a range extender unit.

The technology would be an evolution of the hybrid rotary-electric system first used in the prototype Mazda2 EV of 2013, which boasted a driving range of up to 380 kilometres.

This technology could give the Mazda MX-30 the boost in driving range it needs to better take on the likes of the Hyundai Kona Electric, and even passenger models such as the Nissan Leaf.

Currently, the MX-30 is fitted with a 35.5kWh battery pack and 105kW/265Nm electric motor for a driving range of around 200km.

Pairing the system with a rotary range extender could, like in the Mazda2 EV, double driving range to around 400km, which compares much more favourably to the Kona Electric’s circa-450km and Nissan Leaf’s 280km range.

Mazda Australia has remained tight-lipped on whether the MX-30 will arrive in showrooms, but a rotary range-extender version could be the version it has been waiting to introduce that better fits local conditions.

Pricing for the all-electric MX-30 has also been revealed in overseas markets, kicking off at £27,495 ($55,429), though expect that price to rise with the inclusion of a rotary engine.

The UK will also receive a special 100th Anniversary special edition of the MX-30, which shares the white paint with red contrasting-roof design of the rest of the limited-run celebratory models.