Mazda MX-30 With Rotary Engine Officially Under Consideration
9 April 2020 - motor1
It would be a way to boost the model's range without fitting a bigger battery.
The Mazda MX-30 electric crossover will be available in Europe in 2021, and it will possibly get a rotary engine as a range extender, according to a new announcement from the automaker. The company is currently looking back on a century in business, and a recent release mostly focuses on the brand's history with the Wankel powerplant. Two sentences look toward the future, though.
"Later, the company developed a prototype Mazda2 EV with a small single-rotor engine used as a range extender. A similar system could find its way onto the Mazda MX-30, a brand new battery electric crossover SUV arriving at dealerships this year."
The version of the MX-30 coming at launch has an electric motor making 143 horsepower (106 kilowatts) and uses a relatively small 35.5-kilowatt-hour battery. This setup offers an estimated range of just 130 miles (209 kilometers). So far, there are no plans to bring the crossover EV to the United States, but it's hard to imagine the vehicle being competitive in the market with such a low range.
With such a meager range, it's easy to see why Mazda might work on a way to boost the distance. The setup in the Mazda2 concept used a single-rotor engine with 0.333 liters of displacement. It produced 38 horsepower (28 kilowatts), and the powerplant weighed 220 pounds (100 kilograms). The fuel tank was just 2.3 gallons. Estimates suggested this system was able to double the range of the model's 20-kWh battery.
While not Mazda's first vehicle with a rotary engine, the RX-7 is the one that remains most famous today. The model debuted in 1978 and stayed on the market through three generations. When production ended in 2002, the company had built 811,634 of them.