Groundbreaking: Mazda brings back the rotary engine…in an electric car?

What goes around comes around again and again and again.

Eleven years after dropping it, Mazda has brought back its signature rotary engine in an unusual way.

He used it as a range extender for his MX-30 electric SUV.

A rotary engine generally has a better power-to-weight ratio than a piston engine and runs more smoothly, making it technically ideal for this application, where it can run at a constant speed.

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The MX-30 R-EV's rotary engine is rated at 73.7 hp.

The MX-30 R-EV’s rotary engine is rated at 73.7 hp.
(Mazda)

The MX-30 e-Skyactiv R-EV is a plug-in hybrid version of the model equipped with a small battery that offers 53 miles of range on the European test cycle.

The gasoline engine drives a generator.

The gasoline engine drives a generator.
(Mazda)

The gasoline-powered single-rotor motor and 13-gallon gas tank can be used after the battery is dead for longer trips, but are not connected to the wheels at all. It is only used to generate electricity.

The motor uses a single rotor.

The motor uses a single rotor.
(Mazda)

It can also be activated selectively, so the driver can choose when to switch to all-electric mode, as is the case with many plug-in hybrids that use piston engines as range extenders.

The MX-30 R-EV logo is a

The logo of the MX-30 R-EV is an “e” in the shape of a rotor.
(Mazda)

According to the Autopian, the engine operates at a maximum rpm of 4,700 rpm, which is well below the 9,000 rpm redline of the rotary of the 2012 Mazda RX-8 sports car, the last to feature one in a conventional setup where it drives the wheels through a transmission.

The engine is installed under the hood along with the electric drive motor, and the MX-30 uses a small battery with a range of 53 miles.

The engine is installed under the hood along with the electric drive motor, and the MX-30 uses a small battery with a range of 53 miles.
(Mazda)

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The main issues with rotary engines have been efficiency and emissions, which Mazda addressed with design changes that include new apex seals for the triangular-shaped rotor, which spins in an oval chamber.

The MX-30 features rear-opening rear doors.

The MX-30 features rear-opening rear doors.
(Mazda)

The MX-30 R-EV also has a power outlet that allows the powertrain to be used as a stationary generator for electrical appliances.

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The model will launch in Europe this year, but has yet to be confirmed for sale in the United States, where the all-electric MX-30 is currently only offered in California in a version with just 100 miles of battery life. autonomy.

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