Mazda Rotary Engine returns on the MX-30

After years of speculation that Mazda will one day bring back rotary-powered performance, the company is finally ready to confirm that our collective hope has not been in vain. However, there won’t be an RX model with a rear-wheeled triple Wankel spinning that goes above 8000 rpm because piston-free rotors are hard to seal. While making plenty of power for its size, it’s not well optimized for everyday driving and tends to offer the kind of fuel economy and emissions that get the pants of regulators into a turn.

Given the circumstances, the Mazda rotor will return as a range extender for the MX-30 PHEV.

to me Car NewsThe manufacturer has confirmed that the rotary-assisted crossover will make its way to North America sometime next year. This chimes well with months of rumors and it makes sense to consider the somewhat severe range limitations of the all-electric model. The Mazda MX-30 EV’s 35.5 kWh battery is limited to just 100 miles of the EPA’s estimated range. However, we have seen tests that show that the number is likely to be reached in the most idyllic conditions, which limits its attractiveness.

Adding a range extender allows Mazda to introduce the MX-30 plug-in in parts of the US that aren’t California and ignores the need to put in a significantly larger (and heavier) battery pack. It’s basically the company’s only option if it’s serious about sales volumes in North America and it’s hardly front page news considering Mazda has been discussing its development for years.

from Car News:

Talk of an updated rotary deployment in the MX-30 has spread since the car debuted at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show. Mazda Motor Corp. has started. In use in a range extender that was to go on sale in the first half of the fiscal year beginning April 1st.

But Mazda chose the additive alternative. This allows it to reduce battery size and cost even more, compared to a range extender. But the engine will run repeatedly.

A rotating plug-in version of the MX-30 will appear in the second half of the current fiscal year ending March 31, 2023. A spokesperson said it will be offered in the United States and Japan, respectively.

After the rotary engines were discontinued in 2012 with the death of the RX-8, Mazda revived the technology the following year as a prototype 0.33-liter range extender fitted to the Mazda2 converted to an all-electric powertrain. If you’re wondering why a company is going this route to boosting efficiency when Wankel rotary engines are notorious for being so thirsty and dirty, you’re not alone. However, Mazda previously suggested that using one of them as a generator would allow it to run at its optimum speed by avoiding low rpm. The rotors also don’t tend to produce much vibration, which can make Mazda’s range extender less noticeable than alternators that use a traditional piston arrangement.

It also provides excellent strength for its size. talk to suppliers, Nikki Asia He said the unit could effectively double the MX-30’s electrified range. But that remains to be seen and we’ve seen other alternator-powered electric cars flounder.

“This is the most Mazda-like initiative in electrification strategies, and the market is looking at how it contributes to sales volume,” said analyst Eiji Hakomori of Daiwa Securities.

Even if the Mazda ends up failing, it’s nice to see them trying something unique while figuring out a way to keep the rotary engine fit. We should have an idea of ​​pricing later this year. Although, if history is anything to go by, electric vehicles equipped with a range extender typically sell for a few times their non-hybrid equivalent.

[Images: Mazda]

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