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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.

Tung Nguyen
News Editor
Having studied journalism at Monash University, Tung started his motoring journalism career more than a decade ago at established publications like Carsales and Wheels magazine. Since then, he has risen through the ranks at GoAuto to Managing Editor before joining the CarsGuide team in 2019 as the newly-appointed News Editor. Since starting at CarsGuide, Tung has spearheaded the push for well-researched and unique stories that will shines a light on the automotive industry for new-car-buying intenders, who might struggle to keep up to date with the fast-paced environment of motoring. The last few years alone have seen an explosion of interest in electric cars, as well as a push for autonomous driving, and as News Editor, it is Tung’s job to stay abreast of all the latest and deliver stories worthy of CarsGuide growing audience.
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