The Mazda MX-30 crossover has a new powertrain that marks the company’s first use of a rotary engine since the demise of the RX-8 sports coupé in 2012, bolstering the new model’s range and desirability.

Revealed at the Brussels motor show and labelled by the Japanese car maker as a “unique series plug-in hybrid”, the MX-30 R-EV partners a 17.8KWh battery with a 830cc petrol rotary engine and an electric motor, producing a total power output of 167bhp and 191lb ft. 

The innovative 830cc rotary engine acts as a generator for the battery, while the electric motor sends power to the wheels. 

Combined, the model’s 50-litre fuel tank and battery offer a driving range of over 400 miles, with emissions of 21g/km – a big range increase over the 130 miles provided by the current, EV-only model, which has a 35.5kWh battery. 

The MX-30 R-EV can travel up to 53 miles on pure electric per charge, Mazda says, which ranks ahead of much larger plug-in hybrids, such as the Suzuki Across, the Toyota RAV4 and the Mercedes-Benz A-Class 250e

It can charge in around 90 minutes using a 7.2kWh charger, 50 minutes on an 11kW unit or 25 minutes with a 36kWh charger. 

Four specification levels are available at launch: Prime-Line, Exclusive-Line, Makoto and the range-topping Edition R, which is limited to 400 units. Orders are open now and deliveries are set to begin in the summer.

Prices start from £31,250 – matching the all-electric MX-30 – for entry-level models, rising to £37,950 for the flagship Edition R. 

Edition R cars gain a unique metallic Maroon Rouge exterior paint colour, a unique key fob, R-branded floor mats and headrest and bespoke interior stitching to celebrate the revival of the firm’s trademark rotary engine. 

Mazda says a rotary engine was introduced for the MX-30 because of its impressive power-to-size ratio. Measuring 840mm wide, the engine features a rotor that’s just 76mm wide with a 120mm radius. 

It’s also 15kg lighter than the Renesis engine from the Mazda RX-8 and uses direct fuel injection and an exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) system to improve efficiency and cut emissions.

Mazda UK chief Jeremy Thomson said: “With the option to choose either the pure-electric MX-30 or the new R-EV version depending on their needs, our customers now have even more choice. 

“It’s the latest example of how Mazda’s multi-solution approach ensures we have cars to suit all our customer’s needs by improving environmental performance with a combination of electrification and clever internal combustion engine technologies.”


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