Mazda teased earlier this year the possible return of the rotary engine as a range extender in the MX-30, but now the return of the rotary engine appears to be official for Mazda’s new crossover. In a video (below, go to 7:34 and enable English subtitles) streamed to Mazda’s official YouTube channel, CEO Akira Marumoto confirmed that Mazda will use a rotary engine in the MX-30.
Just as it was initially teased, Mazda plans to use the rotary motor as a range extender on the otherwise all-electric version of the MX-30. Marumoto said it will begin testing a small series of prototypes next year. The goal is to have a production version of the rotary engine MX-30 on Japanese roads by 2022.
Unfortunately, Mazda was not very enthusiastic about the details of this upcoming rotary engine. A news report from more than two years ago (in which Mazda officially confirmed that the rotation would return) contained the most detailed information about the engine. Mazda says it will be compact, have high power and be a smooth driver. Of course, these are all things we expect from a rotary engine. All numbers or specifications for the engine are not yet known.
Mazda has not yet announced any specific plans for this rotary range extender outside of the MX-30. The cute and snappy MX-branded crossover is now on sale in Japan, where it will launch with a mild-hybrid powertrain. A fully electric version of the MX-30 has also been on sale in Europe for about a month now. There are still no official plans for Mazda to launch the MX-30 to the American public, and even if it does, there’s no guarantee we’d get one with a rotary range extender. Mazda could always put the dial in another car, but that would wait even longer before we see one here.
Today’s news is certainly worth some excitement for rotary rotor enthusiasts, but there are still many questions unanswered.